The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
So what is a leader anyway?
By perhaps the most simple of definitions, a leader is one who gets people to move in the direction he has chosen. As John Maxwell has said, “If you turn around and no one is following you, you’re not a leader. You’re just out for a walk.”
Some of us seem to be leaders by nature. In seemingly every setting, we end up at the front, guiding the group where it needs to go. Others of us are less of that. We may find ourselves in leadership roles, but we lack the certainty of direction we feel a leader should have. How do you lead…I mean really lead…if you don’t think you’re a leader?
First, you need to settle on where you’re going. A good leader not only knows where to go, but is absolutely convinced of the need to get there. John Kotter’s excellent book Leading Change, talks about the sense of urgency necessary to get people moving. Bottom-line: If people don’t think they have to, they probably won’t. So the leader must be fully certain that where he’s headed is where we must go.
I’ve seen “non-leaders personalities” do this very well. They become convinced that their family, their church, their business must take certain steps and they are able to lovingly demonstrate that need to others. They may lack the easy motions of leading others forward, but they know we must move, and their passion can help others see the same need.
Second, you must go with those you lead. My dad once told me to always remember that leadership is always an “us.” Leaders who mandate choices and behaviors for others without making those choices for themselves, soon find themselves off track and ultimately removed from the place of leadership.
Finally, you must keep moving. Those who question their leadership abilities can tend to stop their efforts forward when people resist. The desire to keep everybody happy and only move by unanimous agreement cripples many would-be leaders. Newton told us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. People will resist the work it takes to move ahead so the leader must not give up at the first sign of trouble. Good leaders find effective ways to keep moving forward.
Yes, there’s a lot more to leadership than just these three points, but these core choices are essential to every leader’s arsenal.