You’ll be hard pressed to find an individual or a group of people who will follow a leader blindly. Jump when they say jump, sing when they say sing, all with no rhyme or reason. Unlike that mythical figure, there is no pipe or magic whistle, that will have people lining up to follow where you lead. Some people lead by their position and some people lead by example, one thing remains true either way, you are only a leader if people are following.
Teaching and wisdom on leadership is in limitless supply but every now and then you stumble on a real pearl. This week I had the honour of hearing psychologist, Dr. Mitch Whitman, speak in the context of leadership. Something he shared spoke deeply to my heart. When referring to his dear friend and mentor, he voiced some of the things he admired and was drawn to in his friend. One of which, was his ability to listen. Not just listen and validate the ‘good’ in those around him but also listen to peoples ‘shadow selves’ (the ugly, darker, sinful side within all of us). After they had bared their souls, he validated, encouraged and loved them still.
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). What a comfort to know that we have friends and a God who sees us in all our mortal, sinful frailty and still loves us unconditionally. It relieves me greatly to know that I don’t have to hide or ‘pretend’ I’ve got it together because He already knows. I also have the blessing of incredible friends in my life who know all my dark, shameful secrets and love me still (James 5:16-So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you will be healed)… it blows my mind and is incredibly freeing!
Heading home from hearing Dr. Whitman speak, I pondered the things I look for, value and strive to implement in leaders I admire. While I added the above revelation to my list, I also included:
* Honesty and integrity (people who are the same in private as they are in public)
* Good work ethic (I admire people who work hard and go above and beyond)
* People who not only speaks God’s word but lives it outwardly.
* Positive and forward looking (you can’t lead if your standing still and no one likes a party pooper)
A long way from where I want to be. I know that revelations like this are part of the building blocks God uses to build good character and wisdom into my life.
Sending lots of love your way and a couple of links to leadership blogs I really love:
Look up Dr. Whitman if you get a chance. Legend!