We've seen enough failed leadership - self-centered, corrupt, inept, greedy. Where can we see genuine leadership? Power used for others, not self?
As Christians, we are drawn to the cruciform posture of leadership. In Christ, power, authority, and influence are used in selfless ways. He exemplifies servant leadership. More than just a model for us to follow, he offers forgiveness for leaders - for all - who falter and fail.
In a follow up post from last week, here are five more of my top leadership quotes.
“You cannot teach what you do not know. You cannot lead where you will not go.”
Leadership is more than talk. Self-appointed leaders have not walked the road they’re leading. They talk, but don’t do. They are commentators on the action, but they’ve never played the game. They point at the map, but they’ve never walked the land.
Leaders must first be led. Their leadership is gained by experience. Experience means that they've walked the road themselves. With courage and tenacity, they stand on the front line.
“Listen to your enemies. They’ll tell you the truth about yourself.” - Greg Smith
The current political and social environment rewards tribalism. Everyone huddles with their like-minded allies to be affirmed in their pre-existing beliefs. We avoid adversaries and launch grenades at enemies from a distance.
Genuine leadership braves criticism and has the strength to listen to it. Much of it may be vomit, but listen for hard truth and lessons to be learned. A true leader is secure and humble enough to filter his or her critics.
“Intelligence knows the right information. Wisdom uses the information rightly.” - Jeff Cloeter
(Is it arrogant to quote yourself?) Information is not an issue in our day. We can access almost anything from our phone. What we are starving for is wisdom. What do we do with the information? What does it mean?
We need leaders who are grounded in ancient wisdom in the school of the Proverbs.
“Everywhere where man’s possibilities are at an end and the free and sovereign creative possibilities of God begin, we find the presence and working of the Spirit of God.” - Martin Franzmann
Leadership will invariably lead to limits, dead ends, and sheer impossibility. What then, when you can’t plan, strategize, or work your way out of it? “I have no idea what to do.”
Christian leadership leans on grace and miracles. The mighty power of God shatters our narrow view. The Spirit of God begins his work when ours is at an end. The question isn't, "What can I do?" It's, "What is God doing?"
“We are all dwarves standing on the backs of giants.”
You play a role. There are those who came before you. There will be those who come after you. You are blessed to play a part. This vantage point is humbling and empowering at the same time.