Leadership is not about title at all, it starts with Character, and Character development is an inside job. We all have flaws in our Character however if we devote our lives to developing those weak areas, life will have more meaning.
The first step is to be able to observe your gaps, in terms of the things you say and the things you do, we are by nature or default more likely to say more than what we actually end up doing, this is part of what man has inherited from Adam and Eve, we think more highly of ourselves, or sometimes we assess the area we like, no matter who you are every person will have at least one area that they need to work on. The beginning of any growth starts with an acknowledgement of where you are at.
The Good News
Being a Christian means that you have inherited the Character of Jesus by his Spirit, Gal 5:22 shows us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. From this and many other passages in the bible we find that every Christian is a potential great leader.
Our focus is therefore to build our Character, how can we go about doing this?
Search for the Cracks.
Look for patterns
Face the music
The consequences of not working on your Character
Steven Berglass, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of The Success Syndrome, says that people who achieve great heights but lack the bedrock character to sustain them through the stress are headed for disaster. He believes they are destined for one or more of the four A’s: arrogance, painful feelings of aloneness, destructive adventure-seeking, or adultery. Each is a terrible price to pay for weak character.
Over time you will find that people do not follow uncommitted leaders. Therefore it is essential that you as the leader are committed to whatever cause or vision you are out to achieve.
I have heard of various definitions of Commitment but the one I love the most is; ‘Doing what you said you will do long after the feeling you said it has left you’ The reason I love this definition (or sometimes hate it) is because it acknowledges the fact that we can easily make commitments when the going is good and the feeling is right, but to stick to it when it seems all to be going wrong or you just don’t feel good – then our true commitment is tested.
Four things I want to highlight on how we can increase our commitment:
From my own experience and through observation of others, I have seen that when we don’t spend enough time reflecting on what we are ultimately out to achieve, we can fail to see the importance of what we are procrastinating on. e.g. if the goal is to lose weight and we reflect on what we have been eating in the past few days, this can give us greater courage to see our commitments through.
Sometimes all that needs to be done is to take action, just do it! Once we start we then come to realise why we made a commitment in the first place. We do feel better within ourselves when we can deny ourselves and take the necessary action.
When we keep track by measuring our level of commitment in some way and we are able to see the results, it can speak to us very clearly because we can ask ourselves key questions i.e. will these results take me to where I want to go? By measuring where and how we spend our time and money, we can get a good feel on what we are committed to.
We would naturally be more committed to what we are passionate about. This is something that many people don’t see even in themselves, we are all committed to something e.g. if you find yourself watching TV for several hours, you are committed to it, if you rush home early to watch a certain program you have commitment – but this is a commitment of convenience, what you want is a passion for something that overrides that.
What area needs developing from inside-out in your life?