Each of us was created with the capacity to lead.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (NKJV)
The first thing to note is that when God created man, he created man specifically in His image and to have dominion over the earth. Dominion is associated with influence or control. It also speaks of leadership. So it was God's intention at creation to create man for the purpose of leadership. It is clear from this scripture that leadership is by nature. Every human being was created with the capacity for leadership. This may not be consistent with what you may have been taught growing up. If this applies to you then now is the time to change your mindset about leadership. You and I were created to lead in the specific areas of our gifts. Your ability to grasp this and express it is key to your success in the marketplace.
Here are some of the things that leaders do:
1. Leaders enable others to lead.
2. Leaders add value to others.
3. Leaders are team players.
4. Leaders are people of influence.
5. Leaders represent their organization well.
Your next question may be: Now, I know that I am a leader and I know what leaders do, but how do lead?
1 Cor 15:10.
But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I'm not about to let His grace go to waste. Haven't I worked hard trying to do more than any of the others? Even then, my work didn't amount to all that much. It was God giving me the work to do, God giving me the energy to do it. (MESSAGE)
As a leader you have to factor in the grace of God. How may times have you come across situations that seem bigger than you? How many times have you asked yourself, how will I complete this assignment in the time that I have been given? This is where the grace of God comes in. The grace of God is a companion to God's power. It is the grace of God that give us access to God's power in order to accomplish what seems impossible to the natural mind. In the scriptural reference above, Apostle Paul indicates that it is God's grace that enabled him to accomplish all that he did. This same grace is available to us. Many times leaders are called upon to do things that seem impossible. It is God's grace that enables you as a leader to accomplish the impossible!
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. (NKJV)
The next thing is to realize that God has made His power available for you to lead. There is nothing that God's power cannot accomplish. The question is, have you been leading based on your own power? Anyone who has ever tried to lead by their own natural power will quickly realize that there is a limit to what you can do. However this is where the power of God comes in. God's power picks up where our natural limitations end, and enables us to go further and succeed.
1 Cor 2:16.
For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (NKJV)
Wisdom is essential for every leader. Wisdom sets you apart and enables you to chart the course even when it seems like there is no way out. This is necessary to maintain the momentum of any team. Through the sacrifice of Christ at the cross, and His eventual resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father, we have access to the mind of Christ. Therefore the wisdom of God is readily available to us. There is no situation that you can face as a leader where the wisdom of God cannot provide a solution. How big does that challenge seem to you? Simply access the wisdom of God in fellowship (your quiet time), and watch God shed light upon the situation.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. (NKJV)
Leaders have to be bold. There are many situations that you will face as a leader where you will be tempted to run away, to turn back or to slow down. Your success as a leader will frequently be determined by your boldness in these situations. When i) God's power is at work in you, ii) God's grace is upon you, and iii) you are walking in His wisdom, you will find yourself boldly facing those challenging situations. In Acts 4:13 it is clear that Peter and John were bold because they encountered Jesus. I believe that their encounter with Jesus imparted them with power, wisdom and grace necessary for their assignment. God has not changed. He remains willing and able to impart you with the power, wisdom and grace needed to boldly face different situations and succeed as a leader.
May the Lord give you increase more and more, You and your children. (NKJV)
As a leader you have to lead by replicating yourself. The more you are able to replicate yourself in the people that you lead, the easier it is for you to be a success and accomplish your goals. And in so doing you are developing the next set of leaders for the organization. This may sound counter-intuitive. However the more you impart what you know into your team members and share the knowledge that you have, the greater the impact you will make on the organization. Suddenly your ability to accomplish tasks is multiplied by the number of people that you have imparted. You can do much more through many people that you can do by yourself.
Your ability to be an effective leader is determined by how much you cultivate your leadership skills and develop your leadership capacity. Irrespective of where you are or what position you occupy you occupy in your organization you can be a leader. You must factor in God's power, wisdom and grace in order to lead successfully. Then you will be bold in all that you do, and you will develop the next generation of leaders. God's plan is that you take your rightful place as a leader. Your time is now.