Saturday, February 4, 2012

Leadership...What Is True Leadership?

That's a good question. What on earth IS 'True Leadership'? Well, I'm going to try to answer that question in a series of thoughts and facts. I will bring in what I have learned from life, Scripture, and what a few of my friends have to say about that.

But why did I have a thought on 'Leadership' in the first place? Well, I'll try to answer that question as well. I may have iterated before on the fact that I'm in a swordfighting organization (WOTS [Way Of The Sword], which is Kendo basically). Anyway, WOTS stretches all over FL and grabs into the southern lands of Georgia in clans having different areas. I am in one of the better clans. But it truly depends what you mean by 'better'. Are we the best fighters? Eh...probably far from it. But the thing is, we've had great leadership, we've always fought on the basics and the actual techniques. We have respect for each other, others, and the thing we do. The other clans? They simply don't. At all. And it reminded me of the 'leadership' exhibited at the event today.

If a 'leader' needs to swear and curse at his 'subordinates' to get them to do stuff...uh...doesn't that say something? Anyway, back to the point, the former 'leaders' of my clan have stepped down. In their places they elected me and my friend Cary as the new 'leaders'. Unfortunately Cary is the actual 'leader'...but that's fine by me. Why? Because he is a true leader, and I'm really interested in seeing where he goes in life. Gah, I need to stop babbling on in nonsense, and get back to the point.

What does the Scripture say about 'Leadership'?

First off, Hosea 11:4 has this to say: "I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love,and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them." Another translation says (human) kindness. Basically, common human decency: What you want done for you, do for others. A leader takes this command in the Bible to heart. He eases the yoke on his 'subordinates'. He doesn't let them become 'sit-back-and-do-nothing' people though...he does everything in his power to help them get what they're supposed to done. Sound familiar? Yeah, it oughta. Jesus did just that when He took Flesh upon Himself, lived perfectly and died the most painful way for us. So hey, what do ya know? Yup, Jesus, (like being such a good model for us to be like in many different ways) is the model for Leadership. And that doesn't come as a surprise, does it?

Nelson Mandella had this to say about Leadership: "It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.".

At a second's glance, the first thing Mandella said seems a little false. But he's not saying to lead from behind people during war. What he's really getting at is to put others before your own desires. A leader looks at what his people need (not what they want), but what they need, (such as rights to things and such) and then does everything in his power to advance that.

Collin Powel, one of our most beloved war Generals, had this to say: "Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."

I really love what this guy is saying here. Leadership deals with solving problems. If your people can't come to you with pleas and problems...there's something wrong. Either they don't trust your sense of judgment and wisdom to solve the problem, or they don't care, then you have a failure of Leadership. Being a leader means you care about your people, and have wisdom as about to go solving the issues.

Bringing my friend Cary back into the picture, he has a few things to say on the matter, and they're right on.

"You have to lead by example." He goes on to say, "You must be the example of what you want to see in them. If you're not displaying what you want, then how will they know what to do?"

An excellent question, if you ask me. He also had another great thing to say, but I can't remember what that is now.

So now, what are some of MY thoughts on the topic of Leadership?

Well, I'd definitely have to say some of the stuff that some of the guys up there^ have said. But I wanna add a few things. To be a leader, you must be humble and listen to those who maybe don't understand your reasoning in solving a problem. If a leader is truly in the wrong, he must have a low enough ego to realize he's wrong and correct it. A leader must be gentle and caring with his people, as God is with us. He needs to be able to clearly lay out what his aims and goals are, and then get them done in an efficient way. There's soooo much more I could say on this, but I am exhausted and hurting. But I want to know: What are some of your thoughts on who a Leader is? I'd really love to know if I'm missing something.


B.L.S. said...

Sorry about the 'highlighter'. I ended up with the same problem I had the post before the last one...and I guess I know what the problem was...Copying and pasting scripture into it :( For now on I'm just gonna have to write it all out...there's a lash at my lazy side. Haha. :)

Anonymous said...

You know, it honestly pains me to take the easy way out (I know that must sound pretty cruel), but I seriously cannot find anything whatsoever to contradict you on with this piece. I loved every bit of it, and I think every leader should learn these values and principles. You covered pretty much everything. Well done.