“Everything rises and falls on leadership.” said John Maxwell, an authority in Leadership, at the Global Leadership Summit in 2016.
Leaders have the ability to bless or curse people. Over the last few days I have been watching the news back in South Africa with a very heavy heart as we see the devastation of an ineffective leader. South Africa needs lots of prayer.
Proverbs 29:2 warns us, “When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.”
However, before we jump on the judgement train, let’s pull back considering the bible is very clear on not judging others, so I will put my gavel down and rather focus on what does make a good leader.
Back to John Maxwell then. He asked the question “Are you adding value to the people or are you wanting people to add value to you?” I think the key for me in Leadership is the “why Lead?”. If you are in any leadership role, whether it be in business, church or family, you have a mandate to add value to the people who you serve, yes I said serve. You see, if we are to be the kinds of leaders that bless the people, we have to be the kinds of leaders who serve the people. What does serving as leaders look like?
Considering that people only ask 3 things of their leaders according to Maxwell, maybe this is where we start…
Do you like me?
Can you help me?
Can I trust you?
Our jobs as leaders is to lift people, leaders empower others to be a better version of themselves through believing in them, equipping them and being trustworthy. If we are being deliberate, consistent and wilful to add value to the people God has entrusted us with, then we will look for what it is that makes them unique, what their strengths are and what is valuable in them, that they have to contribute. We can only do that when we really look at people and see not only what they have to give, but what lies within them. This means you have to be interested in them and believe in them even when they don’t see what you see. You job is to draw it out.
Too often we have too low an estimation or expectation of people, people often live up to that expectation. As leaders we need to not only see the potential, but we must call it out. This means we may actually have to walk a journey with this person and stand with them when they fall the first few times, but when we understand the mandate we see that it is not about convenience but commitment. It’s a whole different level.
Then we need above all to be trustworthy. Note I didn’t say perfect… We all make mistakes, yes even leaders… (shock! Horror!) People don’t expect you to be perfect, but being worthy of trust is vital. This requires us to be vulnerable, to be real and to lead with an openness and humility. In this day and age, integrity among leaders is becoming something that is rare, I believe this is the time for leaders more than ever to Arise and Shine, for leaders to bring heaven to earth, we need leaders who are tapped into the one true God and are bursting at the seams with fruit of it.
Lets be those kinds of leaders… 1 Corinthians 4:1 in The Message bible puts it well in talking about leaders. “We are guides into God’s most sublime secrets, not security guards posted to protect them.”
As we lead people and empower them and add value to their lives, let us unlock the most sublime secrets of who they are in Christ, so that they can do the works God has designed them for. Lift them and lead them whether they know Christ or not as the unique and treasured people they are.