Isaac Newton once confessed, “If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” This honest acknowledgement serves as a great axiom for the impact our lives can have on others. Most of us have experienced the consequences leadership can have on both the promotion and/or prohibition of people and causes. Yet, even with this understanding and with the abundance of positive resources available today there remains a deep desire and need for more leaders who operate to serve the interests of others over their own (Philippians 2:4).
Fortunately, the opportunity to meet this challenge begins with the Word of God and in our own homes. In order to send out more leaders equipped with the values and moral compass necessary to effectively navigate the choppy waters of life, we must intentionally seek to raise them up at home and role model the qualities we so desire for them (Titus 2:7). To help us know where to begin, there are five basic behaviors beneficial to anyone who L.E.A.D.S.
1. Learner – In order to be effective in teaching and leading others, we must be endless seekers of truth and knowledge, beginning with Scripture (Proverbs 18:15). To begin with, do we set aside time for reading God’s Word and prayer? And have our kids ever caught us in the act? Do they see and know this as a vital part of our life so that it can become a part of theirs? Also, as we learn, we find our reservoir of truth deepens which in turn empowers us to share more and help others become more effective.
2. Encourager – Everyone has times of discouragement. It’s a part of life, and if we seek to sincerely encourage others in their strengths and reasons for hope in times of struggle, not only will they be more passionate to give their best, but they also grow in their desire and motivation to repeat the cycle in comforting others in their times of need (Ephesians 4:29).
3. Accountability – Goals and plans are crucial to any accomplishment, but distractions and unforeseen circumstances undoubtedly come. Therefore, we must hold each other accountable to the commitments established and to evaluate any adjustments that may be complimentary to meeting the goals (Proverbs 27:17-18). Consider – what area, or person can we lend our support to and with honest feedback, evaluation and process help propel forward?
4. Delegates – One person is limited in what they can do, no matter who they are, but with help great things can be accomplished. Therefore, a leader must possess the confidence to trust and empower others with tasks. This not only empowers the one entrusted to be more effective in their clearly assigned duties, but it also multiplies the probability of success for everyone involved (Ecclesiastes 4:9).
5. Serves – Some seek and relish being served, but the most effective leaders are those who find ways to serve others. We discover this powerful truth as we begin investing ourselves to help make others more effective (Proverbs 11:25). Where might we be facing frustrations due to our focus on what others are doing, or not doing, to drive our personal interests, no matter how valid they might be? A change in perspective may be all that’s needed to transform our panic to peace and help us be and prepare the leaders we so desperately need (1 Peter 4:10).
In the end, may all we do serve to glorify and lead others to Christ, for apart from Him whatever is accomplished eventually wastes away, but with Him, we get to share in the eternal rewards of the lives we were blessed to impact (Matthew 5:16).