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Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

Leadership is a powerful word. I am sure we can all think of ways that leadership has been carried out well, and ways in which it has been manipulated.

Leadership is no small thing.

The one aspect about leadership that is most forgotten is that leadership is about leading.

Leaders crave influence the most. They desire for their words to have weight; they want to know that what they offer has value.

Leaders are drawn to stepping up into directing roles. Leaders are often enabling situations to offer into.

Leadership requires the character traits of humility, wisdom, compassion, and integrity. I also believe that leadership requires the character trait of open handed leading.

John the Baptist is my hero when it comes to mastering this balance of leadership. He is always my go-to guy when I need a reminder of how open-handed leadership is done well.

What is open-handed leadership?

It is the ability to hold loosely to the ones you are leading. No one is a possession. No one is “ours.”

John the Baptist always made it clear that he was not the Christ. He was so great at directing everyone’s attention and reverence to Jesus. John freely confessed that he was not the Christ.

Do we?

There was even a time where John’s disciples were ranting to him that Jesus, and his disciples, were baptizing more than they were. The people were going out to Jesus instead. John responds by saying that they should. John reminds them that he is not the Jesus.

John came to lead the way to Jesus. This is the same truth for our lives as well.

I am hugely passionate about leadership. I am always drawn to the leadership role. I love soaking up knowledge that pertains to leadership. I will most often step up and pursue the directing role as well.

There is a tension and a balance that needs to be mastered when it comes to leadership. I always need to ask myself the question of, “where am I leading to?” Leaders most often struggle when it comes to the direction of leadership.

I confess to my own human flaws of struggling with the balance of leadership. I love influencing. I love offering. Sometimes I can forget to keep the focus off of me and on the one I am leading for.

I still struggle with jealousy when it comes to leading. I have also been the one ranting to God that more people are going to him than me. That’s just honest. I struggle with fears of having nothing to offer. I struggle with the fears of not being liked, and being made to feel foolish. These are some of my weaknesses wrapped around my love of leadership.

I have been learning a lot from John about the character and value of leading with open hands.

Leadership is about leading well towards him.

So allow me to ask you…where are you leading others to?

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Have you ever received an invitation to spend time with someone you admire?

This can be someone who you have an admiration for what they do (i.e. writing, playing music, speaking, teaching, a business person, artist, etc.) This could also be someone who exemplifies the life you respect and desire to emulate.

I have experienced this invitation on a couple of occasions. I have a huge passion and heart for leadership, so my invitations came from people I admired in leadership. I love sitting at their feet, listening to their wisdom, life stories and lessons. I have learned from some great people.

I still have a list of people who I would love to sit with. I call it my “sit-list.”

One of the greatest aspects of the invitation for me was that it came with the investment of the other person.

I learned how to become a leader because a couple of people took the time to invest their life and wisdom into me. I learned how to mentor because someone taught me through mentorship.

The invitation of investment is something that always stands out to me when reading the gospels. Jesus is THE MAN of invitation. He calls his first disciples to follow after him through invitation. Jesus invited his friends to do life with him. He didn’t just ask them to follow him in hopes that they would learn something, but he took responsibility for their invitations.

Jesus takes responsibility for the invitations he gives.

John Maxwell talks a lot about how Jesus was just a different kind of leader compared to all of the other leaders of his day; Jesus really did make fishers of men. He invited them with the intention, and responsibility, to make them fishers of men.

Jesus does the same with you and me.

He invites us to do life with him with the intention of taking responsibility for that invitation. We are wired uniquely with his purposes. He takes responsibility to mold, and train us into whatever those purposes are.

Sometimes that main point gets lost for me. Too often, I feel like life is up to me and I am responsible to make it all work – the tethering line between God and I drift apart. His desire is to do life WITH me.

I am learning to remember that God offered me an invitation that comes with his eternal investment. It makes me well up thinking about how much God invests in me. I am humbled by his patience and faithfulness to make me who he wants me to be.

What does God’s invitation of investment look like for you?

Anyone you can think of who could use your investment?

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This idea of carrying the weight of influence scares me. If I was being most honest, it scares me to think that my life, words, actions, silence, beliefs, and values affect others. I do not take the fact that I am in influential positions lightly. I choose my words carefully.

These days I am finding myself more and more in positions of influence. As a Life Coach, I am working with individuals to make desired changes in their lives. That is a big deal to me. As a speaker, I am responsible for the words spoken from my mouth. My heart feels heavy just thinking about the weight of influence that desire holds for me. The weight of that influence represents truth, hope, living as one who believes and knows someone greater than myself. My life is meant to magnify the one I want to speak about.

Blogging is a way of speaking as well. Social media reflects our character and how we treat people. There is a weight I feel when posting. I am methodical about what I write, even if it’s light-hearted. I desire to influence those who read.

Written words, in any form, and for any reason should not be taken lightly.

Everything I say and do should reflect the answer to the question Jesus asks of who I say he is. Before I can be a Coach and a Speaker,  I have to just be a follower after him. Before I can play those roles, I must walk out the identity I claim in him. If I had no job, I would still be responsible and accountable to claim Jesus as the Christ. There is still a weight of influence to those who you don’t know are watching and listening. There is a weight of influence for yourself.

You have to be what you want to say!

I do not take my words lightly. I want to be good for others. I desire to speak truth, provide truth and hope. I crave the weight of my influence to point people to someone greater than me. Even the ones I don’t know are listening and watching.

How do you handle the weight of your influence?

How have you seen influence used poorly?

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When it comes to believing in Jesus, I have been asking myself several questions.

Through which eyes do I see him?

How far does my belief extend?

Do I look and believe in the ability of the one I follow or do I look at the growing crowd?

Philip and Andrew were two of Jesus’ disciples. They spent days, weeks, and months with Jesus. They had seen countless miraculous signs and wonders. These fellas had personally experienced the hands of their friend healing wounded hearts and broken bodies.

There was one particular day where Jesus performed on miracle that affected  five thousand people.

The day was hot and the sun was beginning to set. Jesus surveyed the growing crowd around him and asked Philip, “where can we buy bread for these people to eat?

Jesus had a way of always asking rhetorical questions. He already knew what he was going to do.

How many times has God asked us questions – invited us into being a part of something great – and we answer logically or without faith.

I have responded to God’s questions so many times with my eyes on my own limits. I even have a tendency to water down what God wants to do through me because I think I’m too small to do it.

God asks us questions already knowing what he is going to do. He just wants us to believe.

Philip and Andrew illustrated both responses in this story. Philip relied on his logic and limits. He looked at the overwhelming number of people and
responded accordingly. Philip thought that it was up to him to do something miraculous and big. Even though he had just spent days being a part of miracles, signs, and wonders. That day he chose his limits.

Andrew responded differently to Jesus’ question. He answered with two key words, “here is.” That is what God wants to hear from his people, “God here is…” Andrew believed beyond his limits and in the one he followed. He was focused on Gods ability.

Andrew lacked the how but he had the who and what.

Andrew placed in Jesus’ hands all that he had to give. He believed beyond himself. When Jesus asked the question, “what can we do to feed these people?” Andrew responded with “I can’t, but you can.

Philip and Andrew had human responses. They were both limited and logical. One responded out of his limits, and the other presented his limits to the only one who could use them.

Which disciple are you most like?

What stops you from presenting all you have to Jesus?

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I have been marinating on some tough questions for me lately.

Have you ever had those small whispering type questions that tug at your deep hearted places?

Those kinds of questions challenge me to the core in truth. They are questions that remind me who I am tethered to.

I am a person who gravitates toward leadership. I think I popped out of the womb leading. I love it. Leading is life giving to me. I love speaking and influencing through the outlet of leadership. As fun as leading is for me, it is also the area I need to keep myself the most in check.

Our gifts can be our curses as well.

I have been asking myself two questions:

1) Am I leading people to me or Him?

2) What does influencing without credit look like?

John the Baptist is one of my go-to guys when it comes to leadership. John was amazing at consistently directing people towards Jesus. He always handled the weight of his influence wisely.

Before Jesus arrived on the scene, John was talking about him. When asked about being the Messiah, John pointed to Jesus.

The minute Jesus came to the river to be baptized, John pointed to him. Every time John saw Jesus, he told people to follow him. John held loosely to his disciples and pushed them to follow after Jesus.

When John’s disciples complained to him about Jesus’ disciples baptizing more than they were, John responded that they should be. John never made himself greater than Jesus, but even stated, “he must become more and I must become less.

True character of leadership right there.

John wasn’t worried about credit or his numbers. John worried about people knowing and following after Jesus.

Am I?

We are all influencing and being influenced. We are all leading and following someone. I am constantly asking myself the question, “Am I following the one pointing me to Jesus, or the Jesus they are pointing to?

Influence is no small thing. There is a huge weight of responsibility when it comes to influence. It is very important to carry it well.

If I am leading people to me, I will fail. I am learning the simple fact that as I follow him followers happen.

I want to be a person who carries the weight of my influence well. I desire to be an open handed leader; always pointing to him in words and action.

Are you leading people to you are him? How?

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Many people have different appreciations for leadership. We are often drawn to different aspects and characteristics  of leadership.

I am very passionate about the topic of leadership. I am a sponge when it comes to soaking up concepts, styles, and wisdom on leadership.

One characteristic of a leadership that I appreciate in someone is when they pursue learning new things. I love when a leader gets passionate about learning. Not only that, but I love when leaders pass on what they know to others because they can’t help it.

I don’t want to be the type of leader who thinks she’s knows it all, or plateaus in learning. Lord help me when complacency like that sets in.

I respect so much the characteristic of risk taking that leaders do. I LOVE watching that happen. With the fear of failing high, I admire so much those who risk anyway.

We are all drawn to different characteristics in people. We all notice different things.

What are some small or big leadership qualities that you love/appreciate? 

Do you have a story of how leadership has been misused?

 

 

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Leadership is a powerful word. I am sure we can all think of ways that leadership has been carried out well, and ways in which it has been manipulated.

Leadership is no small thing.

The thing most forgotten about leadership is that leadership is about leading.

Leaders crave influence the most. They desire for their words to have weight; they want to know that what they offer has value.

Leaders are drawn to stepping up into directing roles. Leaders are often enabling situations to offer into.

Leadership requires the character traits of humility, wisdom, compassion, and integrity. I also believe that leadership requires the character trait of open handed leading.

John the Baptist is my hero when it comes to mastering this balance of leadership. He is always my go-to guy when I need a reminder of how open-handed leadership is done well.

What is open-handed leadership?

It is the ability to hold loosely to the ones you are leading. No one is a possession. No one is “ours.”

John the Baptist always made it clear that he was not the Christ. He was so great at directing everyone’s attention and reverence to Jesus. John freely confessed that he was not the Christ. Do we?

There was even a time where John’s disciples were ranting to him that Jesus, and his disciples, were baptizing more than they were. The people were going out to Jesus instead. John responds by saying that they should. John reminds them that he is not the Jesus.

John came to lead the way to Jesus. This is the same truth for our lives as well.

I am hugely passionate about leadership. I am always drawn to the leadership role. I love soaking up knowledge that pertains to leadership. I will most often step up and pursue the directing role as well.

There is a tension and a balance that needs to be mastered when it comes to leadership. I always need to ask myself the question of, “where am I leading to?” Leaders most often get struggle when it comes to the direction of leadership.

I confess to my own human flaws of struggling with the balance of leadership. I love influencing. I love offering. Sometimes I can forget to keep the focus off of me and on the one I am leading for.

I still struggle with jealousy when it comes to leading. I have been the one ranting to God that more people are going to him than me. That’s just honest. I struggle with fears of having nothing to offer. I struggle with the fears of not being liked, and being made to feel foolish. These are some of my weaknesses wrapped around my love of leadership.

I have been learning a lot from John about the character and value of leading with open hands.

Leadership is about leading well towards him.

So allow me to ask you…where are you leading others to?

 

Read Full Post »

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