As a pastor I often speak to leaders in church and the marketplace on leadership principles. People usually ask “What makes a good leader?” and my response is always, “a good servant.”
Many have heard John Maxwell say “Leadership is influence.” It’s hard to argue with that simple yet profound statement. I however, like Ken Blanchard’s definition better. “Leadership is the capacity to influence others by unleashing their power and potential to impact the greater good.” (Leading at a Higher Level)
Isn’t that what we as followers of Jesus should be all about? Using our influence to set people free of that which holds them back from achieving their potential in Christ…
I love that Blanchard added the phrase “to impact the greater good” to his definition. If the way you define leadership only focuses on the goals to be accomplished, then you as a leader will only measure success by those results. The higher purpose is serving people to help them activate their potential. As each member of a team begins to unleash their potential the department goals are accomplished. As each department’s goals are accomplished then the organizational (church) goals are achieved.
The best kind of leadership is servant leadership, one that’s not focused only on the bottom line but on how you get there and with whom! The servant leader doesn’t base their influence on fear or bullying but on the vision to accomplish the greater good. “We are doing this task this ways because…” The servant leader will be grounded in humility truly wanting those he trains to excel beyond his/her own ability because the leader is focused on the greater good. In our case building the Kingdom of God.
What motivates you? Who are you when you and what is important to you? People must trust you and believe in what you believe in to follow you. If we have true influence we will be able to motivate people to action without the title or delegated power.
Serve others by helping them find and use their gifts for God’s vision. The leadership potential you unlock maybe your own!