Leadership is not easy. As if setting the vision, modelling appropriate behavior and ensuring accountability weren’t enough; you’re also expected to have, or develop, the answers to the problems that the organization and its people bring to you. Let’s not forget there is a life outside of the office that has its challenges as well.
This season of the year, as Christians, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Let’s think about that word – resurrection. The first thing that comes to mind is rising from the dead. If we dig a little deeper, we find that resurrection has several different meanings.
According to Dictionary.com resurrection is defined as:
1. the act of rising from the dead.
2. the rising of Christ after His death and burial.
3. the rising of the dead on Judgment Day.
The story you are about to hear is true. The four-day conference had ended thirty minutes ago. I felt free. My feelings of spiritual relief weren’t because I was now outside the four walls of the training facility. God’s Word had cut through fear I believed about myself and my choices for my future. God gives fear as a natural response when our safety is threatened. Neil Anderson says, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but it is living by faith and doing what is right in the face of illegitimate fear objects.” I learned that behind my anxious fears loomed deceptive lies.
A radio interviewer said, “I know you teach leadership, but you talk a lot about love. What’s love got to do with it?” My answer was simple. “Everything.” Love as a core value has everything to do with everything. We continued for the next hour talking about leaders who have chosen love as their core value and the difference they make in the lives of their followers.
All of us are motivated by something. Whether it’s money, power, control—even the feeling of being needed—we all have internal motivating factors that drive our thinking, beliefs and, ultimately, our actions.
Fear is one of the most common, but least talked about, factors that drives leaders every day.
It’s not talked about often because fear is actually pretty hard to spot. When we think about fear, we usually envision someone cowering in a corner paralyzed by fright.
“I need to ask you something, Mrs. V.” Tears threatened to brim over as his eyes searched mine.
“My goodness! What’s wrong, Felix?” This was a young man I had had in eighth grade two years before and who was now one of my high school students. We had always had a good relationship, even a kindred spirit.
“A kid in your second period class is telling people you call us Mexicans ‘Beaners.’ Is it true?”
I am a woman of many moods and they all require chocolate. If chocolate were prescribed for feelings, maybe dark chocolate would be given for occasional bouts of depression. With financial trouble, possibly chewy caramel and nuts with milk chocolate, or for stress - semi-sweet chocolate with rice krispies. So many emotions and so many chocolates, so little time. But am I hopelessly devoted to chocolate? Hardly. Though today’s variety of chocolate enticements might offer me a temporary emotional escape, the chocolate hangover and extra pounds are definitely not worth the indulgence.
In this short post, I’d like to suggest 24 words that define a leader’s job.
- Vision casting
- Problem solving
- Giving feedback
- Encouraging others
- Influencing others
- Recruiting leaders
- Developing people
- Serving people
- Communicating well
- Listening well
- Relationship building
- Establishing priorities
What’s your strongest area?
What needs more attention?
Where can you allow God to mold your leadership?