Are you a leader? Is that a question we generally think about? If it isn’t perhaps we should. Many people, myself included, view leadership as influence. This concept relates to the leadership of others. I will address this in some detail in this series. The other aspect of leadership that I think is even more important is self-leadership. How are we leading our own lives? What is drawing us?
I of course want to address all of this from the perspective of the scriptures. I believe that good and godly leadership requires Character, Awareness and Wisdom. A key part of character is that difficult word discipline. I believe the fruit of leadership rises and falls on character. We can have great leadership skills but lead in the wrong direction. Years ago when emotional intelligence (EQ or EI) was becoming well known and being trumpeted as just as important as the traditional IQ I wrote a paper for my Master’s degree and raised the need for not just IQ and EI but also for MI, what I referred to as moral intelligence.
There have been many strong leaders in history who have led in the wrong direction, which is why I have highlighted self-leadership and character. This is the starting point. This doesn’t mean we need to have perfect character to lead our own lives or others. It does mean that it needs to be a focus in our life. Which is why I have titled this series Reflective Leadership. I believe if we are wise we will pay attention to our motivations and outcomes.
Strong leaders are known for their vison, focus and purpose. Let us apply this to ourselves as individuals. What is our vision, focus and purpose? Moses, one of the great leaders in biblical history, wrote one of the Psalms. One verse of that Psalm particularly stands out for me and I have provided it below in two different translations.
12 So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (NKJV)
12 So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (NASB)
Moses was praying that Yahweh would help us to pay attention to the brief time we have on earth so that we would exercise wisdom in how we live our lives. When we step from time into eternity how we have lived our life will be assessed by Jesus.
There are variations of the following message but this is how I heard it many years ago.
Sow a thought, reap an act.
Sow an act, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
Sow a character, reap a destiny.
I believe our primary leadership goal in our own lives and in the lives of those we influence was expressed very well by Paul.
19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, Galatians 4:19 (NKJV emphasis mine)
It is about Christ being formed in us and thus revealed through us. May we exercise wisdom now in the leadership of our lives!