The Secure Leader

I’ve been reflecting on the idea of leaders who are easy to follow and leaders who are hard to follow, and I’ve come upon some interesting thoughts.

The mark of a good leader is loyal followers; leadership is nothing without a following. (Proverbs 14:28 MSG)

To lead, means absolutely nothing if no one is following. As a matter of fact you can call yourself whatever you want but if people are not committed to and moved by your leadership you are not a leader, or at least you are not leading.

I know leaders who are surrounded by built in followers but are merely holding a position to which the followers are bound to follow visa vi a paycheck. What is necessary to really move things forward is true leadership.

We have all had times where we weren’t really leading. We held the position, we did the job, but did we really influence the people with whom we worked? Sadly, a lot of times we would have to answer no. It’s imperative that we are good leaders not just leaders.

Proverbs tells us that the mark, that which identifies a good leader, is loyal followers. Are those following you now loyal followers or obligated followers?

Jesus teaches us that good leadership is reflected in our ability to serve. Serving is not the stepping stone to leadership it is leadership. As a leader we never quit serving those we lead.

I’ve noticed good leaders, serving leaders, are secure leaders. Leaders who tend to be positional and hard to follow are insecure leaders. The next few blogs I write will attempt to identify the characteristics of secure and insecure leaders and how we can overcome insecurity as leaders in order to lead well, and influence followers to accomplish the vision that pushes us forward.

The following are tweets that have come out of this pondering.

>;Secure leaders are not afraid to hear, or implement good ideas from their team. Doesn’t have to come from them to be used by them.

>;The secure Leader is confident, not arogent. Authentic, not pretentious. No need to pretend when you know who you are.

>;A secure leader lifts their followers, they do not leverage their followers. They motivate they do not manipulate.

>;Secure leaders are refreshing to those following, and their confidence makes followers feel secure in submitting to their leadership

>;Secure leaders enjoy affirmation but don’t have to have it. They get their fulfillment in their purpose, not from popular opinion.

>;Secure leaders are not afraid for team members to be better than them. In their mind it equates to overall success not personal competition

For more tweets like this check out @gadberry on twitter

Advertisements

Excellence…

Excellence simply means to excel. To be distinguished. To stand out above the rest. I was recently looking at the life of Daniel, the Prophet the bible literally says he had an excellent spirit.

His peers and his leaders saw this in him. Excellence is visible. The single greatest way to move forward in any area of your life is to embrace excellence, in our thinking, living, and being.

Excellence is the antithesis of mediocrity. Yet everywhere we look we see mediocrity. We see things half way done, we see short cuts taken, we see people wanting excellent results with mediocre effort.

If I asked the question who would love to have a life of excellence, success in your family, relationships, job/career, even personally, hands go up everywhere. Everyone wants that. If I asked Who wants their life to amount to nothing. You want to accomplish nothing, get along with no one, succeed in no way. No one would raise their hand. No one truly wants their life to be mediocre.

The problem is not a desire for excellence but a desire to fulfill the requirements of excellence. We can’t have excellence from mediocre effort. It doesn’t work that way. Daniel lived several principles that I think show his excellence and in living these ourselves we will find excellence as a result. Excellence will open doors that nothing else can.

1. Daniel cared about doing things right and He cared about doing the right things.
If you read the story of his life you will find that he did his best with what he had, and he had the right priorities. Two of the greatest enemy’s of excellence are an “its good enough” attitude, and having our priorities out of whack. Getting caught up doing unimportant things, while those things which are important are left undone.
My dad taught me a very important lesson when I was growing up. He said, if you want privileges you must fulfill responsibility. Another way to say it is do what you should do before you do what you want to do. This principle will bring true excellence into your life.

2. Daniel lived with a higher purpose which is how excellence is produced.
Colossians 3:23 says, “whatever you do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto man.”
In other words do all we do with 100% effort as if we were working for God himself. Our lives will be excellent if we live them with a higher purpose. As unto God.

3. He faced the worst with His best.
Daniel didn’t allow his circumstances to dictate his decisions or actions. We miss excellence when we react to hard, difficult or unfair situations with anything less than a spirit of excellence. Daniel was faced with betrayal false accusation, Peer Jealousy and persecution, but he never became spiteful, he never lowered himself to allow people or things to dictate his actions are decision making. He made decisions and acted on the foundation of his faith. He was living for God and not man.

I highly recommend you take a look at the life of Daniel, and recommend that you practice these principles he was so adept at. Care about doing things right, and doing the right things. Live with a a higher purpose. Face the worst with your best.

Lets live a life of excellence and see how it changes not only our lives, but the lives of those around us.

God bless.

Reality Check

Let’s face it. Most of us, well, all of us are subjective when it comes to evaluating ourselves. We can easily see and criticize the weaknesses in others, but not ourselves. We don’t usually say, “I need to change to make my marriage better.” It’s more like, “if my spouse would change our marriage would be better.” We don’t usually say “If I would manage my money better I wouldn’t have so much financial stress.” It’s more like, “if my boss would pay me more, I wouldn’t have the financial troubles I have.” A reality check is realizing that we need to take personal responsibility for our lives.

I think of King David, after he committed adultery and conspired to commit murder. He seared his conscience by doing what he wanted, not what God expected. He didn’t change until the prophet Nathan looked him in the eye and said, “You’re the man.” That is what you call a “reality check.” A truth that broadsides us back into reality.

A few years ago Pastor Kirk (my friend and mentor) did that for me. I had planted a church, with a group of friends whom I loved and still love very much, each of them are now doing some kind of ministry in church and several of them in full time ministry. No doubt, it was a great experience, but it just wasn’t working. In hind sight I can see I chose to plant a church for convenience, not that there’s anything convenient about it except, it was the only available opportunity that fit with what I thought I should do. Needless to say, and I won’t go into the whole story, we weren’t doing well.

When I was in the middle of this project, my wife, Janae kept saying to me, “you need to call Pastor Kirk.” To be honest the last person I wanted to speak with was Kirk Pankratz. I was embarrassed and felt like a failure. I didn’t want to tell Pastor Kirk, “my church is not growing, I’m depressed, we’re broke, my wife is mad at me. So I just wouldn’t call him.

Out of the blue, Pastor Kirk calls me. He invites us to come up and hang out with his family. Hesitantly, (meaning I couldn’t think of an excuse fast enough) I said yes. Now, the rest of this story is a divine reality check.

Kirk, asked me, “So, how’s it going?” I, the paragon of virtue that I am, begin to spill the truth. “Everything is great!” I said. I don’t even remember what else I said, but it was just more nonsense. Then, Pastor Kirk turned to Janae, as if I hadn’t said a word, he asked Janae, “how’s it really going?” She blurts out with no hesitation at all, “It’s horrible, and he is working himself to death. We are not growing, we are struggling financially, (code for Broke!) and he won’t stop!” all the while I am kicking her under the table.

There I am, in a heap, officially “reality checked.” I knew it was all true, and that my stubborn pride was hurting my destiny, my family, my team, and myself. Kirk and Nancy said something to me that was life changing. “…as long as you don’t give up on Gods plan for your life you’re not a failure.”

So here is a reality check for you. To change is not to admit you’re a failure but it is the true path to success. Don’t let pride and arrogance hold you back from your purpose in God. What ever needs to change, just admit your wrong, and change, and God will move quickly on your behalf. Consider yourself “Reality Checked.”

-David Gadberry