What do you think of when you think of a leader? The president of the United States? Your boss? Did you know that the primary definition of leadership is servanthood? Or that it is necessary to serve in order to be a great leader? It is an essential part of being a leader. I've always known this as a Bible College student years ago, but now that I am back in school, one of my courses focuses on leadership and the qualities of a great leader. Many of my fellow students in our live chat last eveing were surprised that this would be a characteristic..... 'is the role of a leader to lead? Not serve??' I found it fascinating the different ideas and perceptions of leadership that are out there. What do you percieve the definition of leadership?
Every one of us is a leader of some sort. Yes, all of us. Whether we like it or not, we have people that watch us and observe our character, our values, how we live, etc. We may even have followers even though it may not be that evident. But, if you are a walking and breathing human, you are a leader of some sort. Are you setting a positive example? What kind of character do you live by..... one of integrity and morals? Are you walking with goals and dreams in the pursuit of them? Think about it. If a child observed your footsteps would they likely follow a path of promise and passion?
Let me guide you down another interesting path. If you are familiar with the scriptures, you may have heard the story of Nehemiah. Nehemiah is legendary for his keen leadership abilities. He was a servant in the truest sense. He put his people's needs before his own, he kept his people in steadfast prayer and only operated in the Word of God and God's leading. He had God's favor because of it. And his followers highly respected him. Nehemiah loved God with his whole heart and followed him.
Charles Swindoll authored a book about Nehemiah called, 'Hand Me Another Brick', the theme behind the book is the model of leadership. I found what he said about Nehemiah and leadership to be riviting, "The central theme of the book, threading its way through every episode, is leadership- how God uses one person to motivate and encourage others to explore new possibilities, to defy the odds, to overcome inertia and apathy to effect constructive change." Awesome.