I’m honored to be speaking on the topic of leadership at this Chic-fil-A Leadercast.
However, before I jump into this discussion, I must first address a personal caveat on the way we approach leadership. My views may be perceived as somewhat controversial. My personal concerns relate to how we elevate leadership over other skill sets, that we have a tendency to exalt our abilities and skills over those whom we lead, the followers. Perhaps the most integral character trait of successful leadership is humility – not perceiving ourselves as greater than, or more talented than those who have not been called or gifted as leaders. For those of us who are of the Christian faith, we need to recognize that Jesus called us to take up our cross daily, and follow Him, to be His followers. Nowhere did he discuss or extol leadership, and yet those that followed him paradoxically became strong leaders.
I’m reminded of Joseph in the Old Testament who, as a young man, shared his aspirations of leadership with his brothers; how they, like the sheaves of wheat and stars of the sky, would bow down to worship him. Because of his hubris and immaturity, he was thrown into the well by his brothers and ended up as a slave in Egypt. After he went through the annealing process of being a slave and a prisoner, he was then promoted into the second highest position in the land of Egypt. But he only reached this position after he had learned the lesson of humility and placing the needs of those whom he led over his personal needs. Continue reading