A friend recently made the observation that, although he wasn’t a leader, he always seemed to be out in front with others following him—looking to him for advice.
He went on to say that friends and coworkers followed him at work, in church, and in his men’s group–he didn’t understand why. In essence, he was asking me to tell him how to make people stop looking to him for direction.
My advice was not what he was seeking, but it was based on a simple truth. If you are always in front with others following you–you’re a leader. If you change directions and everyone still follows you–you’re a leader. If nothing gets done unless you’re there–you are a leader.
The problem was not that he doubted himself—he just didn’t want the responsibility of being in charge. He preferred to follow someone else and not be held accountable to a higher standard.
Unfortunately, a leader who fails to lead is still accountable. To he whom much is given, much will be required–according to Matthew, Chapter 25. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and pretend that what we do (or fail to do) doesn’t matter.
Some are born leaders while others develop those qualities over many years. It is not a characteristic we should resist—the skills and compassion required for leadership are to be developed and used to help others. In other words–to lead.
In our society today the so-called experts give us conflicting advice—go with the flow versus make your own way! Or take it on the chin as opposed to don’t be a doormat.
But a true leader tells others when to follow and when to break away, based on sound principles. The responsibility is great, but leadership is highly valued in all walks of life. God expects each of us to learn, study, and lead others.
Remember—if you are always out in front, you’re a leader. Take your job seriously–do it well.