Sunday, August 19, 2012

No Leader Likes Them. Every Leader Needs Them.

No I'm not talking about followers.

Lately I was chatting about leadership with long serving Salvation Army Officer, Robert Diedrick (Arizona). After 25 years in leadership he has gained some experience on leadership and its relationship with influence.

He says the following:
If you have very few people following your lead, your influence methods need an adjustment. Take a look at yourself. Do people want to be like you? Are you a good role-model? Are you a positive thinker or a complainer? Sometimes the people we lead do not need many changes in their lives, it may be the leader that has to change!
What a leadership wakeup call this can be! "You mean I have to change?!"

That is why every leader needs a self-appraisal. No leader likes them; but every leader needs them.

Self-reflection as a leader is paramount. It's critical. It's almost like we are in need of continual appraisals of our own journey, capacity, integrity and leadership skill. Maybe the self-appraisal process is not painful for some, though for many, deep self-reflection is a revealing and somewhat difficult task. When we find ourselves falling short of our own expectations, it is tough. When we see where we wish to be a leader, but realising we are not there yet; we need to take stock. What's hard is when those around you are longing for you to be a better leader, and you ARE aware of it, and are unsure of how to grow.

Robert Diedrick reflects further on leadership:
In our ministry as Salvation Army Officers I have looked at leaders around me. The most influential to me are those that are servant-leaders that reproduce other leaders. They produce fruit! They are productive and have a huge positive influence upon people. One such leader that I highly respect and admire is Commissioner Jim Knaggs. I see him as a servant leader. People do not need a dictator to convince them to do their duty. They need a strong example that shows that they care and lead by example. As [leaders] we would all do ourselves a big favor if we modelled our life after the Lord Jesus.
We have the opportunity to model our lives after Jesus, who was and is the epitome of leadership, faithfulness, perseverance and integrity. If we have to search within ourselves to find areas of our lives to further  model after him, then the pain of such a search will be worth it. Self-appraisal followed by making the appropriate changes in life, will be worth the journey if we are seeking to be more like Christ.

That's the journey of holiness and spiritual leadership. Modelling our lives, our leadership capacity, ministry opportunities after the one who offers us salvation and forgiveness.

Holiness is the foundation of spiritual leadership. Self-reflection is the beginning of the process to strengthen that foundation.

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