Me, a Leader?
Why You’re Holding Yourself Back From Your Full Potential as an Influential Christian Leader
Inspired by Influence: Leading Without Position
God probably brought you to this blog post because you are a gifted individual with an amount of interest in leadership. No matter if you believe it or not, YOU are a leader. You may have had some difficult experiences with leadership in the past. Maybe you experienced a failed project that cost you a promotion, an unkind boss, or an ungrateful team of followers. These types of situations are all too common in today’s society. This blog highlights and unpacks five key characteristics of a true leader based on points discussed in Philip E. Morrison and Hankuri Tawus Gaya’s book titled Influence: Leading Without Position. If the situations above sound familiar, follow along for helpful tips that will ensure success in your future leadership endeavours.
Leaders don’t wait for opportunities, they make opportunities. Leaders are bold and brave. Leadership involves risks. Some people sit back and wait for a title to act as a gateway to success when, in reality, true leaders don’t need a title. A title doesn’t mean that a given person has what it takes to effectively lead a group toward a common goal. There are plenty of people in society that hold titles that they did not earn. True leaders don’t wait for success to be simply handed to them. Leaders cultivate success based on their grit, hard work, and strengths. It is a leader’s attitude and effectiveness that later earns them a title.
Leaders serve others, not the opposite. Many people want to be a leader because of the perks and benefits that follow. Money, fame, popularity, and comfort have become many people’s number one goals in life. These concepts have skewed our idea of leadership. True leaders do not need fancy things to be considered successful. A leader values the outcome of their leadership over the amenities. Leaders are servant-hearted, generous, and thoughtful individuals who value others over themselves. They display admirable qualities and set a good example for those around them. Leaders do not take advantage of any position or following that they have. Instead, they use what they have been given, no matter how big or small, for the greater good.
A true leader doesn’t gain followers based on a title. If a leader gains followers only after receiving a title, this is a red flag. People flock to a true leader because one is talented, admirable, stands for a good cause, and is encouraging to others. A title means nothing to a true leader. True leaders put themselves in a position to lead. They show others why they are a good leader through their actions and results. A true leader should already have a decent amount of supporters long before they are given any sort of title. A solid group of supporters that will stand behind a leader, with or without a title, is a good sign.
A leader is hyper-focused on God’s goals, not their own. Philip E. Morrison and Hankuri Tawus Gaya explain the line of influence that a true leader has as the following: God influences a leader, leaders influence their supporters, and their supporters later influence others in their community. It is a positive cycle of kingdom-mindedness. Christian leadership involves following a vision for God’s name to be made known among all nations. A true leader would ask questions like, “What does God want to become of this project?” and “Is our next step closely aligned with God’s plan for our company?” Leaders take time to think and pray before they make a decision.
Leaders are influencers for the better. Many leaders of today’s world let power, fame, and money go straight to their heads. They forget their “why” and lose focus on what really matters. They can become irritable, bossy, careless, rude, and toxic. A true leader encourages those around them, acts with kindness, and speaks thoughtfully. They do not demand; they delegate based on their team’s strengths and availability. A leader is always sure to point out the positives, steering their team in the right direction. They exhibit Christ-like qualities in and out of the workplace.
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