What is a leader, if they cannot follow?
I’ve had “leader” titles. Yet I’ve failed to lead. I’ve failed to follow guidelines. I’ve gone “off the rails” to do things my own way. And while it might’ve been flashy, or well intended it wasn’t always great leadership.
Real leadership requires humility and a willingness to submit to (come up under the safe umbrella of) authority. My biggest failures as a leader have come when I have failed to follow. Specifically, I have failed to follow the leadership of my highest authority, or my “higher power”. I know not everyone who follows or comes across this blog has the same world view as me. My higher power is Jesus Christ. I can think of no greater example of his way of leading than what is found in these words, written a long time ago:
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:4-8
I am a leader, whether I want that title or not. People watch, learn from, and follow me. And that is true, I think, of everyone! Sometimes leaders model what not to do more than what to do. But I know this, I lead best when I follow the example of Jesus – walking in humility, serving others ahead of self. Of course, as I recently shared, that means having self awareness and knowing when I’ve got nothing to give.