CHARACTER IS EVERYTHING
What makes people want to follow a leader?
Why do people reluctantly comply with one leader while passionately following another to the ends of the earth?
What separates leadership theorists from successful leaders who lead effectively in the real world?
The answer lies in the character qualities of the individual person.
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
(2 Corinthians 10: 1).
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.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 Corinthians 6:20
For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
“Nothing is hopeless that is right.”
–Susan B. Anthony
“We are all ordinary. We are all boring. We are all spectacular. We are all shy. We are all bold. We are all heroes. We are all helpless. It just depends on the day.”
“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.”
The Leaders I was most drawn to in the Army were men so simple and regular in their personal habits that you could set your clock by what they did. The IMPACT they had on me resounds to this day. My office is very spare. I only have what I need and I keep it all in a specific location that never varies so that I never to look for anything. I park my car in the same spot every morning so that I can find it quickly every evening after a long day of thinking about more important things. Like Nick Saban, I eat the same thing almost every day and my wardrobe does not have much more diversity than President Obama’s does.
I do these things (and many others) to simply my life and promote Consistency with three objectives in mind:
the more decisions I remove from my daily life the more likely it is that I will continue to Accelerate. As we said in Q1.1 (the DRP), discretion is a cage with velvet bars. I don’t get up in the morning and decide whether to exercise that day. Because my Habits are so ingrained, I just find myself at a Workout every morning via a series of non-decisions that were easy to make because I didn’t have make them. By abandoning discretion to Habit, I have freed myself from having to decide.
the more reliable I am in the small things, the more people will believe they can rely upon in me in the big things. Trust is one of the most critical components to the Prosperity of any Group. The decision whether to follow a man or share Leadership with him is founded upon it. The Virtuous Leader uses every opportunity he gets to remove doubt from the minds of his followers through radical Consistency in small things, because it is the small things in which they will most often see him engaged.
simplicity reduces mistakes. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is the antidote to Murphy’s Law that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. The American military calls this tendency of events to become chaotic the “fog of war”. It is a theory based upon Clausewitz’ observation that war is the realm of uncertainty; three quarters of the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser uncertainty. A sensitive and discriminating judgment is called for; a skilled intelligence to scent out the truth. For me to maintain Momentum through my “fog of life” I need a Truth sensor that is not clogged up by the minutiae of small decisions. Simplicity cuts through the fog.
Strong Routines are the framework of Consistency
Daily Storytelling Time
The international food shortage
Recently, a worldwide survey was conducted and the only question asked was: “Would you please give your honest opinion about the solution to the food shortage in the rest of the world?”
The survey was, not surprisingly, a huge failure. Because:
In Africa they didn’t know what “food” meant.
In Eastern Europe they didn’t know what “honest” meant.
In Western Europe they didn’t know what “shortage” meant.
In China they didn’t know what “opinion” meant.
In the Middle East they didn’t know what “solution” meant.
In South America they didn’t know what “please” meant.
And, in the USA they didn’t know what “the rest of the world” meant.