I remember field day in elementary school was like the Olympics for me. I could not wait to compete in the potato sack race, the jump rope contest, and the water balloon toss! I will never forget this one event….tug-o-war….
There we were, head to head for the championship round. Mrs. Polly’s third grade team vs. Mrs. Oates third grade team. I was on Mrs. Polly’s team, in the front of the line, staring face to face with a boy from our rivalry, Mrs. Oates class.
We pulled. They pulled. We dug. They yanked.
My hands were getting calloused from the rope…I could feel it slipping away…
Alas, they pulled…and I stumbled forward, falling face first in the pool of black mud.
I often imagine that some people’s leadership style is like my tug-o-war match in third grade. There is a constant pull for authority and power with others in their organization or on their team, until unfortunately they end up face down in the mud like me. I believe that the highest form of leadership is the art of losing self. Those who usually have the highest influence and control are those who learn to give it all away.
Following up from the last post, we are reminded that we should strive to be healthy leaders…Healthy leaders flourish, grow, are secure, and they flow with culture without compromising their character. Healthy leaders produce faithful FOLLOWERS.
But…let’s go to the next level….and that is to become an EMPOWERING leader. An empowering leader does everything a healthy leader does. However, instead of producing other followers…
An Empowering leader produces other LEADERS. ~ Craig Groeschel
An empowering leader’s heart is all about the people on their team. An empowering leader is a servant leader and their relationships with others becomes priority. Jesus modeled this the best with His 12 disciples. He said this to his disciples James and John,
“You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served – and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.” (Mark 10:41-45 Message)
Two things that empowering leaders do:
- BUILD LEADERS – Great leaders just don’t get great staff or team members, they build them. Jesus chose ordinary men to follow him and He taught them how to be great by GIVING them responsibility and full authority. In Luke 5:4 Jesus told Peter to put his fishing net into the the deep water for a catch. However, Peter didn’t think they were going to catch anything because he had been fishing all day without any luck. The story goes on to say when Peter let his net down, they caught so much fish their nets began to break! Jesus taught Peter how to be great by teaching and trusting in Him. Here’s the best part…empowering leaders will build people to be better than them. There’s no holding back!
The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. (John 14:12 Message)
- SEND LEADERS – It’s not enough to build great people, they must also be sent. Jesus gave us the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 to GO and make other disciples…other leaders who will also GO and make other disciples…who will GO and make other great leaders. The cycle should never stop. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:8)
We are all in different stages of our lives, careers, families, etc. The great thing about our spiritual walk is that they are all different and we can start where we are to being an empowering leader in our sphere of influence. Ask the Holy Spirit to REVEAL where you are and how to become a healthy and eventually empowering leader. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!