Posted by: Jim E | March 23, 2011

Okay, Spring…Or Leadership…Take Your Pick…

So today I was going to write about leadership…something that is hard to find today…at least strong leadership…but I will put that aside for a minute…because it is “Spring, Glorious Spring”…I know those words are in a song somewhere…I just can’t pick it out of the air, or my brain, for that matter…but everything is in bloom in Little Rock…and for some time, I may add…the Bradford Pear are done with flowering and their leaves are out full…Oaks are a little later…Maple are coming along…Redbud are in full bloom…Daffodils are in full bloom…and many other trees, bushes and flowers…no doubt it is spring…and to show its beauty, I will add a picture of a Cherry tree in bloom two yards down from our house…it is wonderful, dontcha think???…more on spring in another post…

Leadership…it is hard to find today…and most avoid it “like the plague”, as my mother used to say…most would rather have someone to pass the blame to, for a decision that others may find unpopular…that by definition would not be leadership…maybe President Truman’s credo, “The buck stops here” would be more correct when it comes to leadership…I have been in positions of leadership even when I didn’t want to be…those are the worst of positions to be in…but sometimes we don’t have a choice, “We’re it”…as the saying goes…they are not always fun times…and unless we are prepared to take it on…we are in for lots of difficulties…

The time for preparation for leadership comes a long time before it happens…in my observation of good leadership, they always knew what they believed about what was important in life…they had convictions about how they lived and how others should fit into those convictions…they could work with others, even those who did not agree with them…and they had a sense of humor, especially about themselves…people want to take that away from us in all kinds of ways…but we can never let a sense of humor be lost…

I got this somewhere along the way…it starts, A Leader is someone who:

  • Balances sensitivity with responsibility.
  • Has earned the confidence of others through integrity.
  • Facilitates development in others through being a servant.
  • Takes more than his share of the blame and less than his share of the credit.
  • Keeps hope alive in others.
  • Is willing to learn from those who won’t. (learns from the mistakes of others)

I have given this to countless people over the years…they are a list of some of the things that I think are the most important…it’s not meant to be a complete list by any means, but the ones that are the most important to me…”cookies on the lowest shelf” so to speak…they meet people “where they are” and where people can begin to grow as a group…it makes you approachable, and part of the group…

I have always admired President Ronald Reagan…I admire the fact that he didn’t care that people underestimated him (and they did, at their peril)…but it’s an amazing quality, one that few politicians possess…Reagan had this wonderful plaque on his desk: “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.”…and he meant it…

I have seen people in leadership positions over the years who were not able to show leadership skills like those above…some who always had to be right…and if they were confronted, used all kinds of methods to show they were in charge and could not be questioned…they used the position itself as a reason…you know, “I’m the (president or pastor or whatever) and it is wrong to question what I say or do.”…in other words, no questioning their authority…and to be in submission to that authority…a quote from “A Tale Of Three Kings” says it all, “Men who harp on authority only prove they have none, and kings who make speeches about submission only betray twin fears in their hearts: 1. They are not certain they are really true leaders, sent of God, and 2. They live in mortal fear of a rebellion.”

Oh, I believe in position and authority and responsibility…but I also believe in true leadership…where the leader is out front and leading…taking the bitter with the better…and making sure the group is with him…because there is one thing I have said many times…even when things are going along “swimmingly”…”Our world could fall apart at any moment.”…”We need to be ready.”…or from my Boy Scout training, “Be Prepared”…

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