Step Into Leadership
For almost two decades, I have worked as a writer, content developer, and editor. Words are works of art when placed in the hands of the right creator. They can craft a vision, inspire a nation, change a heart, and even save a life. I recently had the privilege to review an incredible book on leadership by Scott Prickett entitled Lead, Follow, and Move Hell out of the Way.
Every person and corporation views leadership through their own perspective, many seeing it as simply a means to an end rather than an ongoing way of life. Prickett explains that leadership is developed over time and that one’s perspective on leading largely effects leadership style and ability. “The humility of a leader is what will multiply the impact of their influence beyond their efforts,” he says. Humility is not a quality most of us automatically associate with leadership, however the greatest leader of all time humbled Himself beyond imagination, leaving His throne and His Kingdom to be born in human form in a lowly stable. Jesus was born to lead, but “while His destiny preceded creation, His capacity was developed by experience.”
Leadership is less about taking the lead through position and power and more about servitude. Christ demonstrated this very concept at the Last Supper as he humbly washed His disciples’ feet. In Matthew 23 Jesus said, “If you have a lofty opinion of yourself and seek to be honored, you will be humbled. But if you have a modest opinion of yourself and choose to humble yourself, you will be honored” (TPT, vs.12). The best leaders have what Prickett calls “a blend of personal humility and professional willpower.”
In a thought-provoking chapter on identity, Prickett reveals that good leaders work towards becoming unnecessary. As good parenting involves teaching our children how to be independent, good leadership does the same. Sadly, some leaders would rather control than witness the exponential growth possible when others are released. He explains:
Release of others to carry the vision and culture as multipliers means they are likely going to do things different than how you might. It’s the cost of multiplication. The reward of tending to culture is the satisfaction of knowing you didn’t have to matter directly but got the privilege of being a part of a multiplying impact towards a common vision. Some leaders, however, won’t possess the security or emotional intelligence to be unnecessary. They won’t want things to happen around them indirectly, but they need to be in control directly. They may never know the deeper satisfaction of multiplication beyond themselves. Culture change will only be attractive compared to tactics and strategy when leaders are willing to get out of the way. When it isn’t about the individual, the group can flourish. Until then, the capacity of the organization is directly tied to the limitations of an individual’s insecurity. Freedom is rooted in identity. A by-product or fruit of freedom is security. Where there is an assurance of identity, there will be a security that overcomes temptations of control. The capacity of the organization will be tied to the soul of its leader as the insecure leader won’t empower and entrust others. Without release, the culture will be and remain stagnant yet predictable.
Only those who are secure in their identity and emotionally intelligent will be able to realize their full leadership potential. When we are willing to release control and allow others to flourish and grow, we ourselves stretch our capacity. Great leaders not only allow others to shine, they give place for them to do so.
Are we willing to fully embrace our season, recognize greatness in others, and humbly serve those around us? Our dreams may beckon us, but our journey is just as important as the destination. Every day brings new experiences and opportunities for growth and “appreciating the thing that is available right now is a key to developing what we can handle tomorrow.”