Every day, I’m more aware of the influence people have on others. Leaders are people who have influence and use it for a purpose. Leaders are always leading . . . in one direction or the other. In truth, leadership is really more about the who than the what. We in the church have sometimes gotten it backward, tapping the most talented or skilled or ambitious over the most committed or humble or loving. We’ve created roles where leaders can teach, administer, make decisions, and serve, but never truly connect with the people they lead . . . never really expose their hearts, their struggles, or their dark corners. We play zone, doing our church jobs and serving the Lord but never going man-to-man with people who need to be loved and led into a growing relationship with Jesus. As I think about the leaders who’ve influenced me, I see five key attributes . . .
Curiosity – Leaders have an insatiable hunger to learn and be more . . . to have more to share, more to give. Disciples are learners and followers of Jesus . . . not just learning about Jesus but living out what they’ve learned daily.
Humility – Jim Collins says that Level 5 Leaders exhibit consistent, genuine humility. The greatest leader of all time, Jesus, used only two words to describe Himself: “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29).
Intentionality – The leaders I’ve followed knew where they were going, and they consistently focused themselves in that direction. They continually and intentionally aligned their calendars, their relationships, and their energies.
Purposeful – Strong leaders know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They’ve asked and settled the question, “Is it worth it?” They consistently return to their purpose when they’re distracted or when they drift. For example, purposeful mentors read through the lens of “Who can this help?” “How can this help my guys?”
Secure – Leaders I admire are secure in their identities. They’re not about themselves, their egos, or proving anything to anyone. They’re comfortable in their skin. They’re all-in for the cause, but they rest in God’s unconditional love and acceptance.
The amount of influence leaders have often correlates with the consistency between their walk and their talk. Leaders who say one thing and do another have only authority to lean on. Their influence will be minimal, if not negative. The best leaders know who they are, where they’re going, and why. They use their God-given intellect to learn and grow. And in humility, they never forget the two fundamental facts of human enlightenment . . .
- There is a God.
- I am not Him.
Prayer: Jesus, please remind me that I am a leader and that you want me to be a leader worth following. Help me be the kind of man who has influence and uses it for the sake of your Kingdom. Give me the wisdom to make solid decisions and the courage to follow through. Above all, let my life and all that I become bring Glory to your name. Amen.
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