Monday, April 20, 2009

Follow The Leader

Follow the Leader

When you think of leadership or being a leader, what do you think of or who do you think of? Being a leader means that you are up in front of people (in the lead) and you are supposed to be leading them because they are supposed to be following you.

There are two problems though with this situation. Sometimes the person who is supposed to be leading is not doing a very good job (they usually don't know it) and sometimes the people following aren't very good followers (they don't know it either). These are two different situations, but both cause tremendous issues in an organization (team, workplace, business, church).

First to those who lead: We must be willing to do whatever it takes to lead effectively and efficiently. We must expect opposition and deal with it. We must expect to make decisions and people to follow those decisions or respond to those who choose not to. We must not compromise our convictions, cower to opposition, or change directions when pressured. We must admit mistakes, but not give up. We must keep our focus on our mission, vision, direction, or the purpose we are hired/called to lead and not waiver when facing roadblocks, opposition, or conflicts.

We should not be surprised by these things either, if are you are a good leader you are going to challenge yourself and others and sometimes people don't like or want to be challenged. If people do understand where and why you are leading them, you will build momentum, support, and enthusiasm, you will also weed out those who aren't following. We also must admit when we are no longer capable of leading effectively or efficiently and move aside. Leaders are also good followers.

Secondly, to those who follow: We are all followers, even if we lead. Followers must have a spirit of cooperation, willingness to learn, and desire to be a part of something bigger than them. Followers must allow leaders to lead and trust their leadership and decisions. Followers should ask questions and seek answers if they do not understand where or why they are being led, but do not need to know every single detail, but should strive to see the bigger picture and trust leadership. Followers should accept decisions even if they do not agree with them,and if they cannot, they should move on to a different organization with a leadership they can follow. Do not try to lead if you are not a leader. When you are not a good follower you hold others back and destroy unity, positive momentum and atmosphere in an organization.

We need good leaders in our world, we need good followers. In our homes, in our schools, on our teams, at our jobs, and in our churches. If leaders are going to lead, they need to lead well, if followers are going to follow they need to follow well.

I've failed as a leader and had success. I've failed as a follower and had success. We must learn from our mistakes, be realistic of our abilities and influence, and strive to honor God in all we do. If you're going to lead, then do it well or move aside and let someone else lead who is more qualified or better equipped. If you are going to follow, cooperate and be supportive and if you can't move on so others can follow. God wants us to be good leaders and good followers, especially of Him no matter where it is we lead or follow (home, work, school, sports, church).

"Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith."

Hebrews 13:7(NIV)

"We instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more."

I Thessalonians 4:1(NIV)

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