The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.~John Buchan
I have had this topic on my mind for the last two days. I’m still trying to figure out how my thoughts have been put on this topic of leadership, but I’m certain it’s the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I love this quote that I found by John Buchan a novelist and politician in the early 1900’s. I guess it began with reading a passage in Romans on how we should not think of ourselves better than others, but to always put others first. That would be Romans 12:3 in a nutshell. I had a recent conversation with a good friend on how I myself have always been a follower and not a leader. Some people are born with the innate ability to lead effectively with charisma. You can say that this is their gifting that God has blessed them with. Not all of of have that gifting, but we all are called to be leaders. We are not born into leadership, but have the potential within us to find that leader. You can glean some great wisdom from Romans 12, there are three steps to leadership that are discussed in that chapter.
The first step of leadership comes from the first two verses, being a living sacrifice. A living sacrifice sounds crazy, like a madman wrote this letter to Romans. What Paul is saying is that we have to have just enough self-control to give all control to God for our lives. What does this look like? Giving of our time to others, serving others, encouraging others and loving others. Not being self-focused, but others focused. Everything I listed is toward serving people.
The second step is realizing that you are no better than those who are below you. My friend told me that I have an advantage in my new found leadership because I used to be a follower. If you want to be a good leader you need to use the fruits of the spirit with love and self-control book ending them all. If you were born with charisma, then you have to humble yourself and be a follower. The best leaders have the wisdom of being a follower. We can’t allow ourselves to think less of people below us. They are human just as we are. In fact we should not think of them as below us at all, but on the same level.
The last part of chapter 12 goes into love in action, or mercy. This is the last part of of leadership. We need to love those around us as ourselves. Some people are born with the gift of mercy and can love without any work involved. They have their heart on their sleeve 24/7 and people open up to them all the time. Most people have to work at that type of love, but it’s rewarding. Unconditional love that bears no judgement and sees the good all the time. That is the love God has for us and what a great leader He is.
Those are the three steps of leadership from a low position. The world has a different view. The world says be out of control instead of in control and letting God control. The world says to look down on others and step on their necks while you are on the way to the top. The world says to not have compassion and care for people below you. The wise leader leads from a low position. He has self-control, he knows his place and is humble about it and the real important one, he has mercy on those under him. Lead with love, lead from a low position.