Leadership Acquisition or Leadership Development: Which Program are YOU In?

Another nugget I picked up this week:

“We’re not into leadership ‘acquisition’, but leadership development.”

So many people want to just be leaders. They may think it’s something you deserve, or that if I am around long enough I will just “become” one. Or, people may not see themselves as leaders at all and disqualify themselves… both perspectives need course correction.

Leadership is a calling. Many are called but few are chosen… why?

Ego. Inflated or deflated, the ego needs to be “befriended” so that it doesn’t take you out on either end. Pride comes before a fall, and there is nothing noble or life giving to shrink back with false pride and disqualify yourself. You and I are called to lead in life… home, family, neighbors, vocation, spiritual life, community.

Think about it; without community, there isn’t much to lead. We lead others into their calling. If you have been awakened to these realities, you are called to lead. But you can’t just do it. First you will have to fail, break, be humbled, be accountable, and realize that in order to be a great leader you will first have to be a great follower. And a servant of all. If you are ego driven, you might think that everyone is supposed to serve you. Read my recent post on Servant Leadership. Even Jesus said, ” I came to serve, not to be served.” If that’s your M.O. you’re headed for a fall. If you respond to the fall well and get humbled, you’ll have a shot at it.

Again, on the flip, if you keep shrinking back, you’re just as doomed. Realize it’s not about you. It’s about those you are serving by leading. We have been given gifts and talents to be empowered by God in real-time in our lives. Of course YOU can’t do it! It takes trust in something bigger than you to do it! AND it takes a village. If you’re after being the lone ranger leader at the top. you’re headed for a fall.

“Let him who thinks he stands, be very careful, lest he fall.”

What does this mean?

It simply means when you think you’re all that and you got it, you don’t. It’s a symptom of “leadership acquisition syndrome”. Destination: LEADER baby!

No and Nope.

Here are some reflections from Henri Nouwen:

A Positive Alternative for Identity – In Leadership

Rather than having our identities defined by our opinions, or programs, or initiatives, or talents that we bring to the table, Nouwen calls us to look to God as the most stable source of all to find our grounding and identity. He writes:

But when we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive, gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witness without being manipulative.”

A Community Securely Rooted

These are the type of people with whom I want to work. This is the type of person I want to be. I desire to engage in rigorous discussion of unique perspectives and not have questions of my ideas viewed as personal attacks. When we are a people “securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life,” rich and deep community flourishes in such contexts.

Having my identity rooted in this place helps me to serve others without overly personalizing my or their opinions and agendas in the process. We are not to sit as those who have all the answers all the time. That is impossible. We are to journey together towards greater light and liberation of all to become all they are created to be.

BH

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