Leadership is influence -- everyone has influence. Your sphere of influence encompasses you wherever you go, and consists of the people you know, see, and come in contact with (such as family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and even the clerk at the store). If you do not believe you impact people, take a look at how your friends influence your thoughts, actions, and more importantly your attitudes.
So, what is the purpose of becoming a great leader if you do it for the wrong reason? Hitler, Stalin, and Nero may have done “great” things, but they changed the world for the worse because of wrong motives. The key to being a great leader is a servant attitude; Jesus Christ was a successful leader because He led in love and service for others – not Himself.
There are five pillars that hold up an effective leader. The first is meekness. Real meekness is bridled power – great power under great control. With influence comes leadership, with leadership comes power, and with power comes responsibility. Your success as a leader will be determined by how you use this power and responsibility, and if you control your feeling and attitudes, verses letting them control you.
The second pillar is integrity, which will reveal the inner character of a person. It is leading, not by popularity but principle, and shows people what you are really made of. We cannot skim over a person’s character simply because they can get the job done well. True integrity’s price is self-discipline and personal sacrifice, but the lack of has high consequences.
Vision is seeing God’s presence, power, and plan in spite of obstacles. It is seeing life through God’s eyes and being willing to take the leap of faith, even when you do not see the landing. Your vision is useless unless those following you are able to get a hold of it. As a leader, it is not enough merely to see the completed product, you must convey it to others and show them how it can be accomplished.
Attitude will either make or break your leadership. Your attitude is what you focus on and is shaped by who and what you surround yourself with. It is the greatest thing you admire in your own leader’s lives: the ability to look past obstacles, stay focused on strengths, and conquer the challenges of today in order to reach the goal of tomorrow. You determine your attitude and you attitude will determine you!
The final pillar is empowerment. The true measure of a leader is not what happens while you lead, but the result after you are gone. Leadership is worthless if you do not enable your followers to continue in your absence, and empower them to lead without you. Empowerment is not solely encouraging others in hard times or inspiring them to overcome challenges, but it is sharing the tools and knowledge you have and imparting your gifts to them.
God is in control, and is using the situations in your life to mold you into the leader He wants you to become. Be steadfast in your beliefs even in opposition, confident that God is in control whatever the circumstance, and focused on the goal of becoming a great servant leader. You may not see yourself as an amazing leader, but are you willing to take the risk to become one?