As the title suggests, this are my five takes on leadership and what it means to me. Everything that you will read is very personal and has made me who I am today. To be honest, this post is a culmination of my involvement with a whole lot of stuff but I still believe that my best years are always ahead of me. My two cents, it helped me and I hope it changes your perspective too.
#1 Leadership is responsibility.
Call it whatever you want but the number one myth that most people get, have confused leadership with a post, a title or a privilege. Yes, those things may come with leadership but it doesn't define the your duties as a leader and it does no justice to word leadership. When you are in a position of leadership, you lead! In other words, you have work to do, responsibilities to shoulder, deadlines to execute. It is with this duties that come privileges and promotion, not title first, work later. Leaders lead, thats what they are bound to do. You work your way from bottom up not vice versa. Skyscrapers are like leadership. How does a 100 storey tower support itself if they were no solid concrete foundations to hold it firmly in place? For sure it will crumble, with just a breathe of wind.
#2 You are in a position of leadership because someone put you there.
You aren't a leader for no reason. Somebody out there, your boss, your pastor, your manager, your teacher saw the potential that was in you and decided that potential was to be put to good use. They surely would not have put you in such an area if they did not believe in you. Imagine how much trust they have in you. Listen!, you were not randomly selected out of a crowd, you were chosen, you were hand picked! They believed in you and what you were capable of and that is something not to belittle. Every flock of sheep needs a Shepard, and if someone can trust you with leading so many lives, you have something in there somewhere! Think about it.
#3 God gave you talent so that you can bless others.
The skill of leading is gift, a priceless trait. Some of us have longer experiences in leading than some but that is really not the case. Your gifting comes with a purpose, a plan larger than yourself. You were not meant to keep your gift to yourself, you were meant to share it. You may not realize this until its too late but God has given you the authority to change lives, to make a difference and to usher in change. It's time many of us stepped out of our tiny little boxes and beyond our comfort zones because complacency is nothing short of laziness and an attempt to sabotage the greatness you will bring. You were made to be a blessing. Quit being sorry for the things that you didn't do and start taking ownership for the things that you want to do and witness the impact that you will make.
#4 You have a learning curve, but you cannot plateau.
You curve is always supposed to point upwards and the occasional downs. However this does mean that there is no progress. When your curve goes slightly down, it means that you have made a mistake and this is not a bad thing. Mistakes are a daily part of life and we are meant to learn from them. Our flaws, project growth, they make us who we are. Leaders like you and I are imperfect, we are constantly learning. We've made our fair share of errors in the past and that's part of our leadership experience. No one is perfect, we are bound to do otherwise but what's important is that we take lessons from them and try not to repeat the same junk again. Therefore, despite the downs on your curve, you will always move up. You will not plateau because you and I are learning, therefore are making substantial progress.
#5 Conflicts are not the end of the world ( or your leadership career ) .
If you have the occasional misunderstanding or the all too common difference in opinion, it's okay! This only goes to show that there is a mutual, healthy communication among those involved. It proves that people are not passive and they are responding to the things that you do. It also shows that they care! So stop taking heart to the smallest of words spoken or things done, and march forth with your goals in mind.
A word of caution,
Before you start taking all that I have said for granted. Let me assure you that you not irreplaceable. There are 7,000,000,000 potential leaders on this planet who can and will take your place if you don't do what you are called to do.Keep your eyes on the prize and stop feeling sorry for yourself. You are so much more than you think you are.