Leaders – what makes a leader? What doesn’t make you a leader? What? What? What? When you read leadership books a lot of them tell you what it takes to be a leader. What qualities a leader should have, how to handle conflict, how to manage a team…all of these are great lessons, but I think a lot of leadership books miss a key factor in being a leader. First and foremost, being a leader comes from who you are. The basis for all leadership has to come from who you are on the inside. I’ve known a number of “leaders” who were strong personalities, great speakers, inspiring figures, and empty on the inside.
So are those folks great leaders or are they great actors?
When I was a teenager I had the opportunity to connect with a nationally known evangelist – this guy was amazing. He had a phenomenal life story, could communicate like you wouldn’t believe, and ministered to teens like a pro – but his personal life was a mess. He was very successful for a number of years, but eventually he fizzled out. The concept of “Talent is never enough” is true…our personal charisma, our personal ability will take us only so far – eventually we’ll stop being so spectacular – because we’re trying to do it all on our own.
For a leader to become a genuine leader – there must be a solid foundation on the inside. Who you are matters. Period. As a Christian, you already have a foundation to build from – Jesus Christ. All too often though a leader or christian will come to a place where they feel as though they have “arrived”. They have made it to the big time and suddenly they stop growing.
A growing leader has a different paradigm, they don’t see a position as a place that they have arrived to – they see each and every opportunity as a place they can learn and apply
something new in their life. Once they have learned something, and applied it, then they grow. It looks like the diagram on the right. But this diagram is incomplete – because it makes growth look like a circle, when in actuality a growing leaders life looks like an upward spiral.
. So, if I were to stop right now and ask you this question: Are you a growing leader? What would your answer be? It’s ok if you said no – because you can start growing today. How do you do that?
- Step 1: Identify areas of personal weakness
Here are some questions you can ask yourself: Do I have a vision for my life? How’s my personal spiritual walk? How are my personal relationships? How is my personal ministry? How is my personal health? These are good area to start looking in to find some weaknesses.
- Step 2: Set a good goal
I’m not going over that process – go back and read the last few weeks of my blog. You can start at the last one and work your way back.
- Step 3: Learn , Apply, Grow
Once you’ve learned a new principle or technique apply it consistently and you will see growth.
- Step 4: Repeat
We can never stop growing, when we do we become stagnant. And that’s never good…One of the goals for our ministry is to grow. In order for us to grow, we need to have growing leaders. Over the next several weeks we’ll be talking about places we can grow ourselves as leaders to see an increase in our growth potential as a ministry. My goal is to grow our leaders one step ahead of where we are growing as an organization. I believe we’ll be able to see some personal and corporate growth as we focus on becoming growing leaders.