Leadership expert, Frances Hasselbein said, “Organizations exist to make people’s strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant. And this is the work of effective leaders.” Some leaders are overconfident about their leadership ability. Some leaders don’t know how to access their leadership ability. All leaders need to ask themselves the question: why am I here? Whether you’re leading a workshop, ministry, corporation, team, family, or men’s club you should always know why you are leading what you’re leading.
What is the goal of leadership? Is it to boss people around? Is it to earn a lot of money? Is it to be famous? I’d say no to these three questions. The goal of leadership is much more profound and extensive. The goal of leadership is to help people maximize their talents and fulfill their purpose. In other words the purpose of leadership has very little to do with the leader and everything to do with those they lead.
To say that there is a global leadership vacuum would be an understatement. I’m sure you’re thinking that that makes no sense, because there are CEO’s, world leaders, and organizational managers the world over. The vacuum isn’t represented by empty seats of leadership but by those seats being filled by people who don’t possess the skill of leadership. Leadership is a skill, not a position. Being a good employee does not necessarily equate to being a good leader. Having a specific area of technical expertise within a corporation may or may not qualify someone to lead in that area.
Great leaders don’t simply possess solutions. They position people to be able create solutions. Leaders shouldn’t be wholly concerned with making people follow their lead, they should be most consumed by giving people a vision worth following. Leaders should not be focused on making the most amount of money before they retire. They should be focused on how many people they can influence and inspire.
YOU’RE HERE TO INSPIRE
On a John Maxwell webinar, one of the instructors said, “If you don’t value people, like people, or want to grow people you should not take a leadership role.” Truer words were never spoken. The primary reason to take a leadership position should not be monetary gain. If you don’t have a passion to inspire people you will end up managing people towards mediocrity instead of inspiring them towards greatness. Additionally, it is not the role of the leader to always have the answers. This would prohibit the growth of those they lead. In “Magic Words”, Tim David writes, “If you did have all the answers, then people would be coming to you for all the answers. Constantly. When you solve problems and provide answers for people, they don’t need to learn how to do it for themselves. They need you.” Seek to inspire people to be able to recognize problems and to create solutions.
YOU’RE HERE TO INFLUENCE
The effects of influence are always noticeable. Before He died, Jesus, praying for His disciples, said, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:15) In other words, He knew they were going to have difficult days and various obstacles but instead of praying that they would be shielded from the world, He prayed that they would be influential in it. Jesus also told us to be the salt of the world. When food has too much salt in it we have an immediate reaction. The salt has overly influenced the taste of the food. Although that is unpleasant, it makes abundantly clear that true influence is impossible to ignore. Who have you lead to be benignly impossible to ignore? Who, under your leadership is now thriving in their ability and willingness to influence this world for the good?
YOU’RE HERE TO INCREASE
If the impact of the organization, team, ministry, or business is the same on your way out as it was when you arrived then you have very likely failed as a leader. There should be a noticeable increase. It could be an increase in productivity, global impact, or organizational size – but there must be an increase. Additionally, people do not grow when they are not challenged to improve or increase in their character, calling or competence. Great leaders produce great increase in those they lead when their leadership is person-driven and not driven by money, power, or status.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams