Greetings and peace in the name of Jesus, friends, and family in Christ. Today, the focus is back on personal leadership and its development. Oftentimes I write notes to myself. It is a necessary function for me to be able to return to previous thoughts and meditations for continued personal development. Such is the case today. The following notes were found in my email tucked away between exchanges with one of the Southwest District Board Members way back on June 30, 2019, about eleven months ago. So, I will share it with you unadorned with stories and illustrations, letting the Holy Spirit direct your thoughts and application of this leadership principle. One quick note: Regardless of where your leadership growth and development is currently, I can promise you it will begin maturing and bearing fruit when you “Focus On Jesus and Follow His Plan”.
Discussion/Meditation: Nuances of improving the preferred evidences of your leadership self-evaluation. Overcoming the weaknesses and improving the strengths of your leadership.
To evaluate your leadership health, begin by evaluating your follower relationship with leaders whose authority you are under. In other words, the first step in self-evaluation of your leadership is to begin by evaluating your own ability to follow a leader. Begin with the first person to whom you are responsible and continue upward concluding with Jesus Christ the King. That list might include your life mate, your pastor, your supervisor, next levels of supervisors and, of course, Jesus Christ. The agenda is to discover the health of those relationships and your personal ability to be accountable to them. Do not become overwhelmed in this process. This process should be a mental activity that takes minutes, not an analytical endeavor requiring statistical analysis and hours of intensive labor.
It is highly likely slight differences or conflicts will be discovered with some of those on your list. However, unity, willingness, ability, and historical evidence to follow your first line supervisor and highest Master, Jesus Christ, is an essential element necessary for your leadership to prosper. Another essential element is your commitment to buy into the overarching purpose, Vision, mission, and goals of those you are following. If you cannot do that you are a mere hired servant, unable to lead others in the direction of the movement with which you are associated. You may discover you need to change associations if you cannot hold yourself accountable to those you follow. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ it is essential your overarching purpose, Vision and mission must include commitment to the Great Commandment(s), love for God and mankind, and the Great Commission. Your current leadership, mission and goals are somehow accountable to accomplishing these ends. It need not be visible to everyone, but you must understand the correlation. That will empower your leadership to become something for which you would give your life to accomplish.
Here is the principle that drives the need to start with a self-evaluation of one’s own leadership. It is easier to lead great leaders than to serve contrary followers. This is true because the best leader is an even better follower. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh as the only begotten Son and the greatest leader to ever live, was such a great leader because of his obedient nature which included his willingness to follow his Father’s will completely. Unfortunately, the contrary or reluctant followers will never achieve the goals and accomplishments targeted by the one they are following, regardless of how great a leader the person they are following may or may not be.
While it certainly helps, you do not need a great leader to be a successful leader yourself. You need to be a great follower of your leader to become a greater leader. That is assuming your leader has noble morally upright character and goals. Or, why else are you following that leader?
Another step in evaluating your leadership is to review John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable laws of leadership and determine which laws you are utilizing currently, and which laws are needing application in your leadership.
Yet another step in evaluating your leadership is to examine the relationship with those you are leading. Does it take all your strength, energy, and stamina just to assure you have followers? Do people follow you willingly, but you still invest a major portion of your time to maintain that following? Do people follow you willingly and you invest the major portion of your time leading them into shared purpose and vision, helping them achieve their mission and goals to accomplish your common purpose and vision? Are you facilitating the growth of their leadership or struggling to grow your own more than theirs? When you focus on building other’s leadership, it is like putting growth hormone on your own leadership. It will flourish and bear fruit abundantly.
Finally, leadership is a sacrificial endeavor. Ask yourself this question. “Why am I attempting to be the best leader I can be?” Unless the answer to that question is something outside yourself, you will not become a great leader. If your answer is something inside of you, pursuing purpose and vision for your existence is a preferred endeavor for your life at this point instead of being concerned about leadership. Be honest with yourself. God knows, and so do you.
Better it is to know where you stand, even if it is not where you want to stand, than to think you are standing and really be falling all the while. When you know where you stand, you can plan your steps to go where you want to be.
Friends, I hope there was something in those notes that spoke to your leadership. It is my hope and expectation to see your leadership excel beyond anything you or I have yet seen. Be strong and courageous in the Lord Jesus Christ.