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TWELVE FOUNDATION PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP
How to lead in life!
Hi, for those of you who are new to my blog this is the introduction to a book I wrote back in 2005 and I am making it available for free to all who become regulars on this blog. I will eventually have a log in button on this Blog so I can send you updates or information for other free training materials. Please realize this book was developed for training leaders primarily in the Christian community and particularly for those in ministry. If this offends you I am sorry, but I hope you can see the value of using it in you personal life or business regardless of your belief system.
Just as any building needs a sound foundation to build upon so leadership needs a foundation upon which to build and grow. Leadership is one of the most important components in determining ministry success or failure in this chaotic, sin-sick world we are called to minister to. Excellence of leadership is most often what determines the strength or weakness of a church or ministry. The presence of God and a commitment to Biblical principles are absolute essentials, but many problems can be traced, not to these two vital components, but rather, to a lack in understanding the foundational principles of leadership. The ability to provide the required leadership when and where needed is the key to mastery in all ministry enterprises. And there has never been a more widespread need or demand for leaders of excellence, at all levels, than there is now.
Leadership and the making of leaders as well as the qualities of good leaders is a subject that has been studied for centuries. Furthermore there have been thousands of books, and articles, on leadership and leaders, each contributing to our overall understanding and insight of what it takes to become a great leader.
One of the cardinal truths that have come to the forefront is, that contrary to popular belief, leaders are made, not born. Yes there are those rare individuals that seem to have come into this world with all the talents and abilities that leaders need in their lives, but they are few and far between. Most leaders are just average men and women who take the challenge to step forward and accept the responsibility and call of leadership with all it involves.
Some people view themselves as “not the leader type.” But I believe that his is a false concept based on an incorrect idea of what leadership is. Let me explain. If you and say, a hundred other adults are siting in a theater that you have not been in before watching a movie. Suddenly you’re alerted to the fact that there is a fire that has broken out blocking the way you came in. You all begin to panic, because you are unfamiliar with the place, you don’t know where to go. Then a young girl of about 11 stands on a chair and begins to screen out, “Follow me I know where the exit is!” This young girl has just become the leader of 100 adults.
Why is this significant, because anyone can become a leader in certain circumstances if they have three things operative in their life. 1. The know where they are going. (the way out) 2. They know why they are going. (to escape the fire) 3. They step up and take the lead.
Now being a leader in life has to have these elements, but to be a consistent leader in life there are other qualities needed that we will examine in this book.
Those who are fortunate enough to have someone to mentor them and also provide a model to follow usually succeed early on in their leadership life. Those who don’t usually struggle with the challenges of leadership until they are able to gain the expertise needed to function successfully. Others may quit due to frustration and failure turning to some other path in life or wrongly concluding they just aren’t cut out to be a leader.
There has never been a time in history where a person can obtain more input from top level leaders than now. The internet is a gold mine of leadership information that can help you find a mentor or mentors to help train you in what is working in their lives.
The life of Gideon
Judges 6:11-14 Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Oprahwhich belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.
12. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.”
13. Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
The LORD looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?”
Here we see a man who is hiding, beating out wheat so the Midianites won’t get it. He is not someone you would think of as a “leader” type. But he was God’s choice and who God chooses He gives the grace to achieve what He desires.
Now you don’t need to have a visitation from an angel of God to become a great leader. So how do you become a leader? You become a leader in your ministry and in the world around you by stepping forward to take the challenge before you and identifying and practicing the traits and behaviors of great leaders. It is wonderful if you have a mentor who you can model your leadership after.
But even if you don’t sometimes a negative model is as good if not better then a positive one. When you have suffered under an incompetent or insecure leader you don’t soon forget it, the lessons learned are burned into your soul. Additionally, you usually can see clearly what you don’t like about a certain leadership style and begin to make adjustments in your own life to insure you don’t copy the same traits. Leadership ability is obtained by practice over time, but you must be careful to do it right because, practice does not make perfect, “Practice makes permanent.”
It is wonderful to be a great leader. As a leader, you can acquire the admiration, honor, and the encouragement of the people around you. You possess a greater sense of self control and inner mastery in every part of your life. And best of all you get to see the lives of people change because of the influence of your life through and the power of the Holy Spirit.
The more you conduct yourself like a great leader, the more optimistic you become. You have a greater sense of personal worth, self-respect, satisfaction, and contentment. You have a sense of being more effective and resourceful and more capable of getting things accomplished with and through other people. You make decisions quicker and with less mistakes and you become more competent in making positive changes in your ministry, your personal life, and even in your family. Leadership doesn’t happen instantly. Instead it grows by degrees.
As you begin to think and act the way great leaders do you will apply the Principles of Leadership to your life and ministry. This will bring you into contact with other great leaders. Who you can learn from. As the Bible declares, “Iron sharpens iron.” (Proverbs 27:17) Leaders are attracted to people who are like them and they attract to themselves people who are like them.
The more you work the principles of leadership in the small matters of life, then more opportunities to lead in other areas will come your way.
Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.
As you fulfill your obligations with excellence today, the greater the assignments that will be given to you in the future. Your leadership future is truly in your hands.
The Principles of Leadership have been recognized and studied over and over for hundreds of years. They have been taught in military schools, colleges, universities, business schools and seminars around the world. However, there has generally been an absence of concentration on this subject within the Church and Christian organizations. This is particularly true in the developing nations of the world. I hope, with this little book, to begin to change that situation to some degree.
This has just been the introdution to “Twelve Foundation Principles of Leadership”
In the next Blog I will introduce you to the Principle of Genuiness