“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.'” — Matthew 20:25-26
It’s important to understand as we start today that you are a leader. Each one of you. You could be a mom, a dad, an older brother, an older sister, a coach, a teacher, a pastor, a grandparent, a principal, a supervisor, a boss, a manager, a captain, a class officer. You name it. Whoever is reading this devotion is placed in some leadership role.
I remember a time in my life where the passing of the torch came to me. My role was changing from being just an assistant. I was nervous, I was a little intimidated, and quite honestly I felt like Joshua — scared!
In Joshua 1, Moses is passing the torch. His time of leading the Israelites has come to an end and his successor is Joshua. There’s no doubt Joshua was scared, nervous, intimidated, apprehensive and anxious — some of the same feelings we may have when we feel inadequate but called to lead. Over and over, God tells Joshua to be courageous. “Don’t be afraid Joshua, have courage.”
I’ve learned these four quality traits are imperative for leaders when leading:
LOVE: As leaders, let us love. Love what we do, but more importantly, love the ones we get to do it with. That could mean family, co-workers, players, staff, etc. Remember that true love has no agenda. It is unconditional. God commands us in Mark 12:30-31 to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and then to love others as yourself. True leaders love. They love God and they love others. The author Jon Gordon tells us, “Let’s love tough, rather than tough love.” Remember, no one really cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Prioritize love.
ENERGY: Leadership involves enthusiasm. Have energy while you lead. Lead with passion. The old King James word is “zeal.” Leaders need to be excited about what they do and, again, about who they get to do it with. It’s crucial as leaders to have passion and be excited about your work, your job, your project. I guarantee those who follow you will notice that energy and passion and most likely get excited about following you. Followers will most likely buy into the man before the plan. Lead with passion, lead with energy, lead with enthusiasm, lead with excitement. Be sure to attack the day rather than letting the day attack you.
ATTITUDE: As Pastor Charles Swindoll reminds us, “I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” Leaders need to be positive. Is the glass half empty or half full? Make lemonade out of lemons. Change your “have to” into your “get to.” Realize that everything in life happens “for you” not “to you.” Choose to grow through life rather than just go through life. You can either be comfortable or grow, you cannot have both. And your attitude has a huge impact on others. Do you react? Or do you respond? Those following you will notice your attitude during the tough times, when you’re in the valley. Remember, easy does not change you. Embrace the challenge, embrace the pain, embrace the hard, and do it with a good attitude!
DETERMINED: Webster’s dictionary defines determined as “having reached a decision: firmly resolved.” Someone who is determined is decisive, firm, intent, purposeful and resolved. The opposition of determination is hesitance, faltering, indecision and wavering. Leaders lead with determination. Set goals. Reward your followers. What you reward gets repeated. Be focused and stay on task. Instill this quality trait in others by living it, not just speaking about it. As Vince Lombardi said, “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.” Be determined in your goals and decisions when leading. Take action, seek advice and remain humble. Remember, you do not have to be great to serve, but you must serve to be great.
— Jim Good
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