What does it mean to lead? Power to influence.
Some are said to be leaders and others to be followers, but technically everyone is a leader, if not of a business or others, their own lives. Before anyone can be led or lead others, they need to be able to lead themselves. If you cannot successfully lead yourself, it will be a challenge for you to be led or lead others. Failing to lead yourself simply means you lack discipline and for any leader to be a successful leader, self-discipline is a pre-requisite.
The one most important kind of power each individual need is the power over their lives, through having control over their decisions and choices. It is said that one’s life is a summary of their own choices. Wherever each person is, they are there because of the choices they made. So, in a nutshell your current position in life is an indication of the choices you have made in summary. Your choices have led you to where you currently are.
What does it mean then to have power to influence?
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19“Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Matt 4:19.
The purpose of leadership is to influence those that are following towards a certain vision. Being a leader automatically gives you that power.
Human beings in general are in pursuit of power. Power over this or that. One absolute power that was granted to us from the beginning was to rule over all creatures that move on earth (Genesis 1:26-28), which then becomes a blessing and a calling when God places on you the power that comes with ruling over others through leadership. A blessing that needs to be acknowledged and natured. There is also power that is hidden from us, the kind of power that was given to Moses; Joshua; David and more importantly Jesus when he was amongst humans. The kind of power only God can give you. You will remember that none of these leaders were merely granted this kind of power, they were prepared for it only by The Lord. Therefore, they were called to lead. When God calls you into leadership, He equips you through character building.
There are however, leaders who have become leaders through inheritance, qualification and experience, but because they are not called, they are not equipped or prepared through character building. Companies compensate for this by sending their leaders for leadership programs, conferences and management courses in their attempt to equip them. However, only God who calls and purposes one’s life can institute one into any sort of authority.
Education on its own does not automatically make you a leader, neither does experience. Education gives you knowledge and experience enhances your skill. Personality identifies you as a potential to lead others. Though these are all necessary traits of a leader, you need a firm character to become a true leader. A character that can only be built by God.
Depending entirely on self to lead and not on God’s guidance is limiting the full potential of the business or those you are leading. You can only unlock your full potential, the potential of others and that of your business by acknowledging the blessing as well as the purpose of your leadership as bestowed upon you by God. Matthew 12:33 says “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is known by its fruit.” Every business’s success is entirely in the hands of its leader. How it turns out says a lot about the person behind its steering wheel, same applies to an individual as a brand.
It is said that your thoughts lead to your words and your words to your actions, your actions become who you are. Every leader will have a reason why they are leaders, something that influenced them to pursue the need to lead. Be careful that your reason does not become your downfall. If it is not aligned with your purpose it can be a possible downfall. Ask God to reveal your purpose and see if it places you in any form of leadership. If it does, you are within the will of God as a leader. Consult Him on any decision you need to make and let Him guide you through your leadership.
Paul said, follow me as I follow Christ – 1 Cor 11:1. That is an example of a God steered leadership