Leadership is the ability to inspire and influence a group of people to achieve worthwhile goals. Leadership in other words means improvement, change, growth and empowerment. A position is not sufficient to confer leadership on anyone, but it is rather an opportunity to lead at a higher level. True leadership is people-oriented, that is loving people more than loving power/position and is therefore more concerned with adding values and growing people than seeking for fame or fortune. The essence of leadership is service. The Almighty God changes (transforms) a leader and charges (equip) a leader before He uses the leader to create change through his service to the people of God.
Emphasis should be placed more on leadership (being) than on leaders (doing) because leadership comes out when “ordinary” people become great while using their innate (God-given) abilities to overcome challenges for people around them.
Leading where you are simply means making an impact in your world per time with that which is in you, as you are and where you are. A few examples of those who led where they are would include Joseph – a young, promising man who saw himself becoming great but never bargained for slavery or prison, yet everywhere he found himself he STOOD OUT tall among others. Gideon, the last son of the least prosperous clan in the one of the least tribes in Israel was called in a time the nation was under great oppression in the hands of its enemies. He never saw anything in himself yet was asked by the Almighty God to go and lead the people as he was Judges 6:14. Another example is David, though living as a vagabond but who still had time to be a mentor, an army commander and a protector of the people WHILE still living in a cave. What are your inadequacies? What are your fears? These should never be in the way of your divine heritage of headship and influence in your world. You are the light of your world.
To lead where you are, two things are most important.
1. Realize that you were BORN TO LEAD: A common saying expresses that leaders are made not born; however we now have reasons to start thinking otherwise.
- Leaders were first given birth to before they rose to become leaders. Judges 6:12-14.
- No one was born a failure; rather we were all born with a mandate of authority. Gen 1:26.
- We were born for signs and wonders. Is 8:18
Everything God made, was made good. He created each one of us and equipped us for success; everything needed for success on earth were given to man as he stepped into the world. Nobody first got into the world to find out what will be needed for him/her to live before requesting for them, rather we had all our body parts (success ingredients) before we were born. You are a WALKING SUCCESS package; you were BORN TO LEAD, a BORN SUCCESS, never look down on yourself, never settle for less.
2. MAKE out of YOURSELF a LEADER: While it is true that no one was born a failure, no one also becomes automatically successful. You may be born to lead, yet you have to make out of yourself a leader. This does not mean making yourself THE leader (arrogating headship), it only means putting yourself in a situation that makes you indispensable to the people. Look at David when he was eventually made King, it had become inevitable for the people to accept him as their King because he MADE himself their leader. On the other hand Solomon may have been born a prince, he may have been made a king but he made himself a tyrant. It is not what you are made that lasts, it is what you make yourself that truly endures, and you are what you make yourself.
How then can you make out of yourself a leader?
- Be a visionary: A vision is a mental picture of a preferable future/end. Visionaries always leave people, places and situations better than they met them. Vision is a map that the leader must navigate to get him and those looking up to him to an expected end, anyone without a vision are like a canoe lost in the midst of a vast ocean. Visionaries see things not as they should be but rather as they are supposed to be. Anyone without a life-plan for cannot lead others.
- Be service-minded: The essence of leadership is service, because leadership is influence and influence is reflected in the value added to lives around you. In affecting lives positively you are actually influencing them, never think of what you should get from people rather what you can give to them. It is obvious people would be ready to give themselves over in service, followership and subjection to a cause they have identified with and which they see that they can benefit from. You cannot lead a people you have not contributed to their lives. Leaders give up to go up.
- Be passionate: Passion is the fuel that drives your vision, without it, a vision is reduced to a mere fantasy. Nobody wants to look up to anyone who is passive in his endeavors, rather everyone looks up to men who not only pictured where they want to be, but are adding values as they work towards their vision and are also energetic in the pursuits of their vision. Each of the following scriptures tells us about the passion of Apostle Paul for the mandate committed unto his hands, if it is not worth dying for, it is not worth living for. “Find something you like to do so much that you would gladly do it for nothing”
- Be excellence oriented: To lead where you are, you must stand out and be different, then and only then would men give their lives to be influenced by you. While excellence is a product of passion, it is also the opposite of mediocrity. To choose not to be excellent is to choose to die unfulfilled and unsung. There is something in you that sets you apart from your peers or in your location. For you to be excellence oriented, you must understand that excellence is a moving target, what was excellent last year is already out of date. You must daily live outside the crowd, as excellence attracts people.
- Be supernatural: There is only one secret of success and leadership with all other requirements kept constant, and that is GOD. God is the only way out of the natural, the only SUPER existence. No one can become a leader without His permission and to properly lead where you are; you need the hand of God on you, God with you, God in you. Without God you can never be supernatural because He alone gives the grace for supernatural accomplishments.
Finally, GO IN THIS THY MIGHT, the Lord has called you to deliver your world out of trouble, to shine His light to those in the dark, to influence men in the right direction and to make failure uncomfortable around you. YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF YOUR WORLD.
– Esan Olawale