A Call to Leadership

Developing the Servant Leader within – acalltoleadership.com

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Obedience: Another stepping stone toward Servant Leadership

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The argument has happened on more than one occasion and for more than reason. The premise of the argument is that I am the adult and you are the child. This discussion revolves around the fact that I pay the car insurance and he preforms that chores that I assign. When the chores don’t get done, I complain about I am holding up my end of the bargain and you didn’t hold you yours. “Fine” he says, “then I will just give you the money for the insurance.” Then, here it comes, I blurt out, “I don’t want your money, I want your obedience.” Wow, did I say that? “I want your obedience.” Really? My dad said that to me. His father probably said that to him. Then it dawns on me, our Eternal Father has said that to us “I want your obedience.”

So Samuel said: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”  – 1 Samuel 15:22 (NKJV)

Being demanding, dictatorial and authoritarian doesn’t sound very “leaderly”, if I can coin a phrase. We are supposed to be communicative, empowering, enabling, supportive. How can I stand there and demand obedience? God expects obedience and I do my best to give it, not because God requires it, but because God has earned it.

As leaders we can expect plenty of things out of the people we lead. Respect, obedience, performance, attention, concurrence but that is positional authority. We are instilled with positional authority by title or rank only, it’s power comes primarily out of fear of retribution. There are plenty of  “leaders” who wield that type authority but not Servant Leaders.

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. – Hebrews 13:17 (NIV)
If we want to be Servant Leaders, we must earn the right to be obeyed. Our leadership is conditional on leading with a servants heart, to build a rapport with others, to show that we strive to make lives better by our willingness to serve others. Leadership is influence over the hearts and minds of other people. As servant leaders, we must instill confidence and obedience in those we hope to lead, by showing our integrity and our commitment to serve others  “because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.” We as servant leaders know that we will have to give an account in this world as well as the next.
Be a blessing to someone today.

Ten Building Blocks for Foundational Leadership

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We have heard it before, Leadership is influence, nothing  more, nothing less. Developing the building blocks of effective leadership for young leaders is often a challenge. Positional authority is mesmerizing and intoxicating. We grow up experiencing a world of positional authoritarians. Young leaders may believe that authority is control whereas experienced leaders grow to realize that authority is responsibility, responsibility to engage, connect and to energize. Young leaders must learn that it is not about themselves, it is about others and leadership is about them.

10 Building blocks for Foundational Leadership:

  1. Building influence is a “from the ground up” proposition. Build credibility at every level of the organization.
  2. Build genuine report with the worker bees. Learn their trials and tribulations, their hopes and aspirations. We all have them and theirs are just as important as yours.
  3. The “doers” in the business, the ones that get their hands dirty, are the ones that ultimately deliver the goods or service to the customer, remember that.
  4. Since the doers deliver the goods or service to the customer, they are vital to the success of your company. Thank them for that.
  5. The “doers” are the ones that will get you out of binds in the future, remember that. Remember to thank them for going the extra mile, they will remember that.
  6. Help everyone to understand their importance to the business so that they can connect with the big picture.
  7. Engage everyone in developing a vision of the future. Most people want the business to succeed, if they are engaged in the future they are committed to the present.
  8. Celebrate successes, no matter how small, for successes breed confidence and passion.
  9. Take note of and root out indifference. Ambivalence is a sign of disengaged individuals. Connect with these persons to see what motivates them.
  10. Foster relationships with those that have a positive passion for growing and building and are willing to take the responsibility to make it happen.

Building a strong foundation is vital for success and longevity for so many aspects of our lives. Realizing that the success and failure of a business, in many ways, is dependent on the leadership provided at every level means that we must, as leaders, lay our foundation at the bedrock of the organization.

Facing Reluctance

The calling of Servant Leadership.

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“I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives” – Ecclesiastes 3:10-12 (NKJV)

What a blessing it must be to know that you are doing what you are meant to do, where you are meant to do it and for whom you meant to do it. That God has a purpose for you. In Christian circles we often hear the phase “heard the calling” meaning of course, that someone had been called into the ministry. A lifetime of devotion to learning the word of God, ministering to his people, tending his flock and trying to be the best example of Christ’s love that you can be. You know, the holy folks that we go to see faithfully, almost every week. These are the chosen ones.

I believed this. Knowing that every church, in every town needed at least one pastor, minister, priest, rabbi (whatever name you give them) needed a leader. That means that somehow, somewhere,  people were making a commitment to become something that God needed them to be, something that God wanted them to be. That must be a glorious feeling, to be wanted and needed by God! I admit, back in the day, I listened for that calling. It didn’t come.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”  – Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV

I decided that mine was to be a calling of a more secular nature, to be in the world but not of the world. The skills and talents that God had given to me  before I was born apparently were not to be called into His service. I was to live my life as the best Christian that I could be, to live out my faith, to be an example to others but I was not “called”.

Over the years, however, I have come to realize that the Great Commission did not mean only a few were meant to make disciples of all nations. We are all called by God to serve others, whenever and wherever we are placed. Being “called” means going wherever God wants us to go and to be his faithful servant. As servant leaders, we are called to be examples, shining lights on the hillside, to all around us. We are called to grow, empower and enrich others, to serve others in the example of Jesus.

If we are faithful and obedient, we will have a God-given task which occupies our days, in the season in which He “plants” us there and in which we can take much joy, knowing that we have been “called” into His service. He has put eternity into our hearts, follow it with passion knowing that He will be with us until the very end of the age.

Be A Blessing to someone today!

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