Photo by Dreamstime
Whenever I have some quiet moments to think and just envision about the future, the topic of leadership often comes to my mind. In any organization, a lot of things are dependent on the quality of leaders. This is why leadership gurus have always said, “Everything rises and falls with leadership.” In my leadership journey, I definitely see the truth behind that statement.
There have been times when my effectiveness as a leader was compromised because of various hindrances; whether it is a bad attitude, lack of love for people or a character flaw, some of these things impede the ability to lead successfully.
This is why I have always argued that leadership is really a process and something that has to be developed. In some ways, it is really an art. There are a lot of elements of leadership where it is methodical and it just requires basic discipline. But yet at the same time, there are a lot of things about leadership where it requires an aptitude in listening, looking, and learning.
Whenever I tell people that we are all called (or will be called) to be a leader, I get an incredulous look. One major reason is that people always see leadership in the context of the church and then automatically think that it means being a leader of a LIFE Group or some other ministry. But whenever I make the comment about everyone being called to be a leader, I am referencing to the various roles that we are currently in or will be in.
If we define leadership in the words of John Maxwell, then “Leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.” If we have this perspective on leadership, then it is easy to see how we can become leaders (influencers) to our friends, family, classmates, co-workers, and even strangers. By God’s grace, if we are able to make a positive influence in people’s lives, then we will be able to participate in God’s work of transformation.
In order for us to grow in leadership, then we have to keep practicing, testing, and developing our skills. As God has given me relationships and connections with various people, I am committed to helping them develop their leadership skills. Also, I have to keep in mind that it is not only a one way exchange because there are a lot of things that I learn from the people I am training. It usually comes from their insightful questions and their hunger to learn.
I am trying to develop a thought regarding training people for leadership. The word, “laboratory” is defined as, “any place, situation, set of conditions, or the like, conducive to experimentation, investigation, observation.” It is simply, “a place for practice, observation, or testing.”
What would it be like to have a leadership laboratory where we are developing current leaders and even producing future leaders? We will probably have to create avenues where people can “practice, observe and test” their leadership skills. This might have to be another project we will have to start up soon, especially in light of wanting to raise up more leaders for future church plants.
In the meantime, I will be writing short LEADERSHIP LAB thoughts on Twitter to get the process started.