Some of you will be called to lead by choice or chance. It is a privilege but a great responsibility too. Let us look at some key thoughts regarding leadership.
Know where you are going. You should have a clear idea about where you are leading your followers to. You can call this a leader’s vision.
Tell your followers how you are planning to move forward. Without this vital information how will people put their trust in you and follow you? This is what you call leadership communication.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have good looks. In a world which focuses on external appearances, what really matters in leadership is your character. That is what is on the inside of you. That is what makes people trust you and be loyal to you.
Now think about names of leaders you can recall quickly. You will see that these people are remembered because of the way they served in their domains of service—be it political leadership, corporate leadership, leadership in sports or in Charitable Organisations. But note that their influence has been felt around the globe. Therefore, remember leadership is how much influence and impact you make on others. It cannot be fully measured.
Again, a quality you need as leader is courage. Especially this is important when it comes to facing a crisis. If you can face it with calmness, that itself will make your followers place their confidence in you.
Another area on leadership you should be good at is decisiveness in decision-making. A leader is looked upon to make decisions—be it in your school classroom, in the family, in your Resident’s Association, or in whatever place you are called to lead. Know that a right decision which is delayed can do harm, can be ineffective, or can make people doubt your competence.
Finally, a good leader is focused on developing leadership in his or her followers. See, good leadership doesn’t happen by chance. You should consciously make plans to see that you identitify potential candidates, make them part of your team, encourage them, give them opportunities to act independently in situations demanding leadership, and paint before their mind’s eye a time when they will lead. In doing so, you multiply your effectiveness and ensure that the good work you’ve begun will continue.
But leadership models we often see are quite the opposite. We find leaders busy trying to secure their position by putting down any potential candidate showing promise of future leadership. In this context, listen to the words of Jesus who said:
“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”1
To conclude, let me tell you that you might not learn everything about leadership in one shot. But know that it is worth studying about. For there is great need today for good leadership in all walks of life.
If you can become a leader who can lead with humility, exercise power vested in you with care and compassion, and are willing to stand by the side of those you lead in their hour of need; you will leave a legacy that will shine out far and wide even beyond your tenure of leadership!
1Mark 20:43–45 Bible NIV 1984.