Leaders influence movement to advantage
A leader is a person who can influence people to do things that they would not have done otherwise. Put another way, but for the influence of the leader, the things done by his followers would not happen. The leader is the agent, the impetus and the proximate cause of his followers’ movement toward the doing of those specific things that he identifies as advantageous. Without him, they would remain static and focused on maintaining the status quo. In the heart of man inertia will reign—absent a disruption.
The connection between movement and leadership is critical because it presupposes a need for movement, a recognition by the leader himself that the status quo is something less advantageous than some other place, a location the leader visualizes and then articulates to his followers. Only then can the leader begin to persuade them to follow him to the new place. He must describe it to them first because people will only overcome their inertia and follow someone if they believe that he knows where he is going. They won’t leave the known for the unknown, no matter how charismatic the leader is.
Because it induces movement, leadership causes Disruption
It wrenches people away from the place at which they were determined to remain. It causes them to question the foundation for their belief that their status quo was desirable and that stasis was in their best interest.
Disruption Continues Here
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
- “We avoid the things that we’re afraid of because we think there will be dire consequences if we confront them. But the truly dire consequences in our lives come from avoiding things that we need to learn about or discover.”
- “Think of what you have rather than of what you lack. Of the things you have, select the best and then reflect how eagerly you would have sought them if you did not have them.”
- “Happiness is where we find it, but very rarely where we seek it.”
J. Petit Senn
Leaders Leading Leaders
If you truly understand your accountability before God as a leader, you can begin to see why Christ portrayed the leader as a servant.
He was not suggesting, as many have supposed, that lowliness alone is the essence of leadership. There are plenty of humble, meek, tenderhearted, servant-minded people who are not leaders. A true leader inspires followers. Someone who has no followers can hardly be called a leader.
So while it is certainly true that leadership demands a servant’s heart; it is by no means the case that everyone with a servant’s heart is thereby a leader. There’s far more to leadership than that.
To put it simply, leadership is influence. The ideal leader is someone whose life and character motivate people to follow. The best kind of leadership derives its authority first from the force of a righteous example, and not merely from the power of prestige, personality, or position. By contrast, much of the world’s “leadership”is nothing but manipulation of people by threats and rewards. That is not true leadership; it’s exploitation. Real leadership seeks to motivate people from the inside, by an appeal to the heart, not by external pressure and coercion.
For all those reasons, leadership is not about style or technique as much as it is about character.
Want proof that effective leadership is not just about style? Notice that a number of divergent leadership styles are modeled in Scripture.
- Elijah was a loner and a prophet;
- Moses delegated duties to trusted people whom he kept close to him.
- Peter was brash; John was tenderhearted.
- Paul was a dynamic leader, even when being carried about in chains. He influenced people primarily through the force of his words. Evidently, his physical appearance was anything but powerful
All were men of action, and all used their diverse gifts in markedly different ways. Their leadership styles were varied and diverse. But all were true leaders.