Oswald Sanders said, “Leadership is influence, the ability of one person to influence others.” But where do we get the driving force to influence? This is a question we need to answer because often times, we get it all wrong. Let me share some insights today with the guidance of the book Spiritual Leadership by Blackaby.
To some, they source it out from their position. We can see how position can be used improperly. There are people who acquired leadership positions and then start bossing around and demanding people to follow them. When some of their subordinates try to raise concerns that may seem against their position, they would use their position and the attached powers to that position to castigate the said subordinates. At times these leaders would even demand ‘blind obedience.’
To some, they source it out from power. We can see how some people who have acquired power and would use this as their tool of threat to demand followership. If people would go against them because of principles, they would bully them and do something in their power to suppress or attack those who are not following their (mistaken) leadership. At times, they would use, “follow or be fired” tactic.
To some, they would source it out from their personality. We can see some people who became leaders due to their charm and charisma but not necessarily with competence and character. Some got it because of their eloquence and style but not necessarily with substance. What happens next is that either the followership will later die down because the charm faded or that other people close to the leader (at times, un-principled people) would be doing the leading instead.
These three, however, are not legitimate sources of influence and credibility. Blackaby shares the right sources and they may be difficult to grasp – but if we take a look at each, they are the fundamentals that we must imbibe in our lives as leaders – even if it is intensely challenging.
While I was reading these legitimate sources of leadership influence, I was challenged and started reflecting of the things I need to do. It is overwhelming at times and I don’t even feel comfortable sharing them with you today because I am not sure of how I will be able to live by them but let me share these with you anyway. As I share these with you, I encourage you to reflect on each yourself. And I also request that you pray for me as I pray for you.
God’s Hand. “I need to continue to follow God’s leading by continuing to serve Him especially in the avenues that His hand is evidently working in the form of lives being changed for the better. I need to offer Him (in prayer) every work that I do and seek His blessing.”
Leading through Surrender. “I need to listen to Him more by having a daily prayer time and by reading His word (more). I also need to get into prayer more often especially when taking on leadership roles or when leading projects, events, etc. I need to really make worship and prayer as part of my lifestyle.”
Integrity and Honesty. “I need to anchor more of my decisions and actions to Christian values. I need to be clear and convicted to say YES to what is good and say NO to what is bad.”
A Successful Track Record. “I need to set time to reflect on my previous successes as a leader and learn from them, to model the best practices, and work on those areas that need improvement. It would be better to have this reflection time every after event or project conducted.”
Preparation. “I need to prepare myself as well to lead – to keep on growing in competence and character. I need to seek more learning in books, talks, experiences, encounters, observations and in all good sources of knowledge and wisdom, and practice these in every opportunity I am given – be it in the secular or so-called spiritual arena.”
Humility. “I need to recognize that amidst the successes, roles and trust given to me as a person and as a leader is the good and great hand of God working in every good thing. I am to recognize that I am God’s (unworthy) instrument and my service is my response to God’s immense mercy and love. I am to commence and conclude that things that I do praising Him with my mind and mouth.”
Courage. “I need to recognize His lordship in leadership opportunities that I am called to do. As I recognize His lordship, I shall summon the courage to take on roles and responsibilities to serve Him more and His people. I am to believe that if He is to entrust me with something, He is to give me (or that He has already given me) those capabilities to do so for His glory. And that even if I am not perfect and I am weak, His power shall be made perfect in my weakness.”
Yes, leadership is a big challenge. That is why we cannot merely trust and rely on ourselves. We need these sources of influence and credibility. Since these are so humongous to take in an instant, let us gradually take them and live by them. And in the process, let us be patient and persistent because we might make mistakes. But let us commit to always realign ourselves, our leadership to these legitimate, right, and true sources of leadership. Overall, always remember to go to the real Source.
(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM is a trainer and speaker on public speaking and leadership. His latest book ‘Living Large in the Little Things’ is available at Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio City. For talks and trainings, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.chrispoweracademy.com.)