Where are the leaders?

i’ve been thinking a lot about leadership lately.    i’ve read quite a bit on the subject over the past few months and i’m pretty fired up.   i want to be a better leader.   i want to inspire other leaders.   i want to find and help empower new leaders for the next season.

there are a lot of leadership qualities that can be developed.   there are loads of techniques,  skills,  and talents that can be cultivated in the life of young  (and old) ,  aspiring leaders.

but there is one indispensable quality that must be present before a real leader can emerge.   it is something so basic and so essential that one cannot even think of being a true leader without it.

you gotta want to be a leader.    you have to desire the position and the responsibility.    it has to possess you before you can possess it.

leadership is not a perfect science.   you can still be scared.   you can have self-doubts.   you can lack many of the necessary skills that make a person into a great leader.   you can be reluctant…self-conscious…or even intimidated.

but you have to want it.   somewhere inside,  you need to be screaming,  “gimme the ball!”   your heart needs to be passionately connected to the vision of who (or what) you are leading.

  • leaders are consumed with where they are headed.
  • leaders lead people,  not programs.
  • leaders don’t have to continually be told what to do…they initiate leadership.
  • leaders don’t have to be asked to be leaders…they just step out and lead.
  • leaders don’t forget to lead…they are always leading.
  • leaders are not too busy to lead…they are compulsive in their leadership.
  • leaders own what they are leading…managers don’t own,  they manage what others own.
  • leaders lead when no one is looking.
  • leaders are not motivated by guilt.
  • for leaders,  meeting needs is secondary to motivating people.
  • leaders lead teams of people to accomplish tasks.
  • leaders are never satisfied to do the job by themselves.
  • a leader’s greatest joy is seeing others complete the task
  • leaders have people who follow
  • leaders have people to train,  equip,  empower,  and hold accountable.

in a healthy church,  there are leaders and followers.   there is no in-between.   both are needed.   one is not better than the other.   but if you have the desire to lead,  you must lead.   you must take ownership.   when there is good leading,  there can be great following.

this is what we need.

check out this video.   it’s worth your time.   really.   it’s worth your time.

The video contains an important leadership lesson:

A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional. This is key. You must be easy to follow!

Now comes the first follower with a crucial role: he publicly shows everyone how to follow. Notice the leader embraces him as an equal, so it’s not about the leader anymore – it’s about them, plural. Notice he’s calling to his friends to join in. It takes guts to be a first follower! You stand out and brave ridicule, yourself. Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership. The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark that makes the fire.

so which one are you?  (turn up the sound)

could this be north point?

3 thoughts on “Where are the leaders?

  1. In my opinion(and I am not wrong because I am a leader of my opinion)

    I feel our church is filled with people who have experienced bad leadership.

    I know our church is filled with great leaders. But I think we gather at NP because the general culture is not Leadership driven. We are not trying to harvest little TDJakes or mini-Olstens.

    It just seems to me that as a NPter, we ran to NP to not lead or follow. Not that our NP leadership is nothing short of great, but as a congregation, we may just want to watch and wait for someone to ask us to lead.

    I can’t help but to think that the outline of leadership qualities you detail, NP is worried that this will create an ego maniac. This is why some may never get off the sideline.

    I think that is what is great about being a leader; you have no choice but feel like you are flirting with the line between being a leader or a blowhard. Great leaders never get close.

    I have learned in my three years at North Point that being a leader in no way means that you are striving to become Director of Chairs or Head of Nursery.

    It means, at least to me, you have stepped out and found a way to gather and then join with others to worship or fellowship or help others. Period

    My favorite quote came from a stupid cartoon:
    “See a need, fill a need”
    This what a leader does.

  2. It is too bad that corporate America has forgotten what a true leader is. It’s so frustrating and demoralizing and makes working for that paycheck more and more of a struggle to wake up for. Last year I was the target of a “manager” who decided that I needed to be fired because I challenged him. Not challenge in ugly challenge, just challenges in “think things through”, are you truly correct in this assumption (he was not). Unfortunately this was six months of hell on earth for me. Now my co-worker is going through the same thing with a new “manager”. Why can’t “managers” be leaders and know how to mentor, advise, correct, and make people want to pursue further opportunities instead of demoralizing and destroying people?

    I was going to let this blog go, but since my coworker is now headed to HR (as I was several times last year), I just had to post to vent to get this off my chest.

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