Every year another book on leadership climbs the best seller charts. And believe it or not, the basic idea of great leadership in their book is no different than nearly every other book on leadership written.
Leaders figure out the problem and find a solution.
And really, leaders must only do these two things well: Find problems. Create solutions.
This is why so many people are leaders in title only, but do very little leading. They operate in the same environment that existed before they came, even as everything changes around them. They don’t take time to look around. They don’t take to see what needs to die and what needs to be born.
For several years I knew a problem existed within the church I served at. A large cross section of the church was said to be an area of focus for the church, but of course the problem was no one focused on these individuals. The problem didn’t fall under my area of responsibility, so I just always said, “it’s not my problem.”
The problem remained. It was the massive elephant in a large room everyone knew about but no one wanted to do the tough work of creating a solution. Basically no one, including me, wanted to lead. Sure we were all leaders in title but we weren’t doing the two things leaders do.
Then I did a funny thing. I decided that I wanted to provide a solution. I’m not quite sure what inspired me, but I think God finally told me enough was enough.
I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew something had to be better than nothing. I could learn the lessons needed for leading on the fly. Sure, I made mistakes, but they only helped me develop because I did something with the mistakes.
Several months into my uncharted territory of problem solving, one of the pastors at the church approached me and said, “now you’re really leading.” In the moment I had little idea what he meant. I just said thank you and went on my way.
As time passed I realized that leadership had nothing to do with my place of service within the church. Lots of people looked to me to call the shots, but I only stayed within the status quo. My new leadership venture forced me to deal with a problem head on. I went after a solution.
I meet people my age every week who complain about their desire to lead but lacking the opportunity to do so. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: leadership is earned not given.
Take a look at the world and it’s easy to see problems all around. And the reason for this is because most people allow themselves to become followers. They choose comfortable. They choose to wait for others to do what they could. You are different though. Or at least I hope you are.
God is breathing his life into you. He’s transforming you so that you can transform this world.
A few weeks ago I shared a message on leadership based on 1st Peter 5:1-5. You can listen to it HERE.