Though we don’t realize it, leadership has everything to do with who we are and all life’s experiences. You are who you are because of the leaders you had and have. Your environment is as it is because of those who lead in shaping it.
Your parents, your teachers, your friends, bigger siblings, mentors and communities guided every aspect of your life and shaped it into what it is. Leaders influence us, and inspire our hearts, mind and hands into action.
And then there is the influence of the unseen and unaccounted for. We are influenced so deeply by the environment we live in; the shows we watch on televisions and even stray magazines we read. Anything or anyone that inspires or influences you to act or refuse to move in any direction is exerting leadership on you.
Leadership is a force. It is a mysterious power that directs living beings. I believe that leadership is the central force of life. Leadership is that high standard of behavior, morality, ethics, values, skills and ability that leaders must express.
And this is why we must understand the concept of leadership.
Unfortunately we tend to mix the role of ‘leaders’ with the understanding of what ‘leadership’ entails. Leaders are people who should be expressing excellence in leadership.
They do not always do that. So when they reflect superb leadership influence, the result is high quality of living. And when leaders fail to exert proper leadership influence, the result is destroyed or mediocre lives, destroyed or bland environments, destroyed or listless communities.
God is the very epitome of excellent leadership, and this is what the whole Bible reveals. He sets the standard for what should be expected in every leader. He is creator, shepherd, king, and father. As creator, He teaches us the leadership skills of setting vision and goals, planning, preparing and executing plans through the incredible stories of how He created a physical nation and a spiritual kingdom in the old and new testaments. He also shows us how he re-creates when the original becomes marred.
As father, He exposes His unseen and ever present guiding hand through every story in the bible. He shows us how to love and how to let go and monitor from a distance when followers refuse to follow. And then He shows us how followers get destroyed in the hands of wrong leaders. What happens to weak children when they refuse guidance from fathers and choose to follow destroying elements.
As king, His power that holds it all together is not left in doubt through the pages of history record in the bible. We are exposed to the incredible array of resources available to strong leaders, who build other people into bulwarks of help. But for me, the best of all of it is His leadership role of shepherd. The one who leads beside the still waters of righteousness, peace and joy. Who restores the soul when I drift off in sin, fear or sheer foolishness. Who leads in paths of righteousness for His own name’s sake. Whose rod and staff comfort through the valley of the shadow of death. This is how I know that ‘surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life’.