Back while I was still in the corporate world I’ve always admired people in high positions. I admired how they dress, how they walk, their posture, how they speak with confidence when talking with other people. I’ve also admired the way they handle presentations, the way they address a crowd and the like. It’s very easy for me to equate these people in high positions as leaders.
What is a leader anyway? Mention the word leadership and immediately for me these pictures come into mind:
I picture, great individuals in big corporations in high-ranking positions who really know their stuff and have great management expertise. If that were my picture for leadership then I know that leadership is not for the faint hearted, not for the weak-willed, and is only reserved for the best of the best in terms of skills and abilities. I remember an incident in the first company I worked for: the partner who was working with us on the project I was assigned to screamed at me during a conference call. I froze at that moment, good thing my teammate was there to be able to catch me on my behalf.
Since that incident, and even before that I felt that leadership wasn’t for me. I was happy being in the background, happy doing all the computations and working behind the scenes. Just don’t let me face a crowd or deal with a group of people who have strong personalities then I’d be ok. Even while I was still in college, I always believed that leadership is only for people who can stand in front of a platform and deliver fantastic speeches. The people who ran under TAPAT or SANTUGON cause I studied in DLSU-Manila back then.
Or so I thought.
Fast forward a few years later, I now have a different mindset altogether on leadership. There’s nothing really bad with the things I’ve mentioned above, in fact if you have those skills that’d be great! However, if I only limit leadership to the things I mentioned about I’d not only be limiting myself, but others as well.
Now that we’re trying to define what leadership really is, wouldn’t it be logical for us to see how leadership really works in the lens of the one who created it?
The bible narrates stories after stories regarding the lives of some of the greatest and most well known leaders in history. However, the interesting thing with regard to some of these stories is that not all of them were really the most qualified for the task that were at hand.
I’d think about Moses and how he had lacked self-confidence to obey God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt:
Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10.
In another verse he tries to runaway from his calling:
But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Exodus 4:13.
I’d think about Paul and how he admitted that he wasn’t really very eloquent or had the intelligence to compare with the people he was debating with:
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 1 Corinthians 2:1
Lastly, I’d think about King David who was the youngest in his family and was really no match against his brother Eliab even in the prophet Samuel’s sight.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
When I think about the many instances wherein the greatest leaders in history were called, I was just reminded that the leaders God calls for his purposes aren’t really the world’s “best” according to our standards today. In fact it may very well be the opposite. One verse pops into my mind every time I think about my own weaknesses and limitations:
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:27
The reason God calls us into leadership is not really because we are the best in our field, on the contrary it is because it is through our weaknesses and personal limitations, that his strength may be displayed. By using us to display His power and work, all the glory will go to Him and not to us.
You know what, apart from Christ, I’d still be faint-hearted and weak-willed which I think I still am most of the time, however, the key is every time I remember my weaknesses, I just look to God’s strength and his power because I know that with him all things are possible.
Here’s the great secret of leadership under God’s guidance so that we don’t have to be afraid: When we’re with God, we just have to step out in faith and to obey the things that he calls us to do because once we do, he’ll be the one to finish all the tasks that our feeble hands cannot accomplish by ourselves.
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14
If you’re reading this and if somehow you can relate with me with the things that I’ve said above but know that deep down in your heart, God has called you to make a difference in this world. Read the paragraph below which is an excerpt from a book by Bill Hybels. Hopefully this inspires you to trust in God and obey him in the things that he’s called you to do. Step out in faith, be a leader so that one day we will be able to win it all for the glory of whose name we bear. God bless! 🙂
“Please don’t miss this. If God has given you a kingdom vision, if you see it clearly and feel it deeply, you had better take responsibility for it. You had better give your life to it. That’s why God made you a leader. That’s your unique calling. That’s what you and I will be help accountable for someday.” – Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels