Thursday, November 19, 2009

Leadership: We Attract Who We Are

I am studying leadership at Gonzaga and I am amazed at the various definitions of leadership. Here is one I think we can all agree upon, leadership is about one thing: influence. Who you influence is who you will be able to lead. Let's look at an example from the Bible concerning this fact.

In I Samuel 22 David is in the cave of Adullam running for his life as Saul is in pursuit of him. The Bible says that when his brothers and his father heard he was there they came. But don't miss the next part, it says "...and everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented were gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him" (1 Samuel 22:2). Could you imagine how David felt? What a great show of support from his family and others that had followed David's leadership and decided that they wanted to be with him instead of Saul. But I want to point out something that may be obvious to you.

Those who were attracted to David were just like him. David was in distress and he was in debt and he was discontented. Let me stop and ask you about the people that are around you, are they just like you? Isn't this all the more reason that a leader must first lead themselves and overcome their distress? We should look at the people around us that we have influence over and ask the question, "is that really who I am as a leader?" If you are pleased with what you see then keep doing what you are doing. But if you want to be a better leader than you should see those closest to you as a reflection of your leadership.

I want to influence people that are like me, but sometimes I see a reflection of my leadership from those closest to me and I think I still have a long way to go. How about you?

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