Leadership is amazing. You can’t quite define it or grasp it. There is no set shape or size to leadership. People of all colors, genders, backgrounds, personality types and education levels end up being good leaders. Trying to make a formula for leadership is like a greased pig, the more you try and hold it, the more it slips away.
Bob Ehrlich says it perfectly. “I don’t know what leadership is. You can’t touch it. You can’t feel it. It’s not tangible. But I do know this. You recognize it when you see it.”
Leadership can be innate or internal. It’s a gift or capacity that is given by God or one’s natural talent. Some are born with it. Leadership often is more nature than nurture. But good leadership can also be a matter of competency. We can learn about it, study it and develop it.
The most effective leaders generally have both the capacity and the competency to lead. They have that ‘it’ factor. However, leaders with natural capacity will be limited without developing their competency. They might be a better natural leader than most with little education, study, and the like, but they will never be their best without increasing their competency though education, skills and the like.
A few years ago, I heard Pastor Alan Platt, leader of Doxa Deo churches worldwide and the best leader I have ever met, speaking about a competency issue. He called it Four Strategic Questions that Leaders Need to Answer. Learn from his message. It will unleash your leadership capacity by becoming more competent. Tiger Woods was effective for years because he maximized his natural capacity or ability by increasing his competency by study, practice, and hard work.
The first question is…Who is my Master? In other words, whose voice are we listening too? Many listen to the voice of money? Money calls and they answer. Others listen to the voice of power, the need for acceptance or the search for significance. Others listen to the voice of rejection, hurt or offense. Wrong voice.
Every leader will be a follower to the voice he or she hears. Competing voices are not completing voices. As a Christian, I try to listen to God through wisdom and God’s word. I try to follow the Leader of all Leaders…Jesus Christ. Who and what is your master?
The second question is this…What is My Mission? In other words, what have we been assigned to do? What is our sweet-spot? Mark Twain once said that the two greatest days of our lives are the day we were born and the day we discovered why? What is your mission or purpose? The best potential is lost if we don’t define the route. Hope is not a strategy. Build your life around your purpose.
The third question is…Who are My Men or Women? In other words, who is my team? Why? Teamwork makes the dream work. We all need somebody but not just anybody. We need VRP’s…Very Resourceful People like the Apostle Paul who will help us to be a great leader. VRP’s aim us at excellence and greatness. We need VIP’s…Very Important People like Barnabas who are friends in adversity. All leaders need someone to pick them up when they are down.
We need VTP’s…Very Teachable People like Timothy who we can invest our life into and carry on after we are carried off. Timothy’s realize mentors are bridges to tomorrow. They are family, not employees. We need VNP’s…Very Nice People who are friends to us. They are people at church or the community. They are folks that are just fun to be around.
Finally, the last question is…What is Your Message? Define your message in clear language that everyone can understand. My message is simple. Cities and communities need what the church brings to the table in order to reduce societal problems. Those in church need to understand that they are here because the city is here. Each one needs the other. When you know your mission and your message life gets much more focused.
There you go. Apply it. As you increase your leadership competency, you unleash your leadership capacity.
Church-Community Connection is published weekly in 10 newspapers all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 450 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing mental perceptions that the community has of the church.