"When leaders lead: [and] the people willingly offer themselves, Bless the Lord!" (Judges 5:1-2)
So you either: lead, follow or get out of the way.
The Leading Leader:
- Is born with leadership potential.
- Has been exposed to good leadership in his life.
- Has learned and added leadership skills through training and experience.
- Has developed the self-discipline to become a good leader.
- Is willing to pay the price required to lead successfully.
- Is willing to wait to become a great leader, realizing it takes time, tests and good choices.
You can be called, gifted and anointed but not willing to pay the price and remain mediocre all your life.
Every worthwhile accomplishment has a price tag in terms of hard work, patience, faith and endurance. The greater the achievement, the higher the price paid. It comes down to: How much do you want it and how much are you really willing to pay to get it?
Let’s look at some aspects of the cost for any person who is in a place of leadership or aspires to it:
1. Criticism – It is hard to take at the time, but the only way to really get to know ourselves is by feedback from other people.
Backslappers help us feel better about ourselves but we don’t actually profit by them. Real change and emotional growth comes by facing our weaknesses and personality defects as others see us. As a leader, you are more visible, which means you are more susceptible to criticism. If you can accept it, criticism can work for your good.
2. Fatigue – Genuine leaders know when to put in extra hours, and must be willing to rise early and study longer than others.
Some have great stamina, but fatigue will frequently set in if you want to go somewhere with an organization. A wise leader will try to find a balance, and seek some pleasurable recreation, or he will eventually lose his usefulness. Proper health care, rest and balance will help a leader maintain his ability to persist.
3. Time to Think – A leader must take time for creative thinking and meditation. Most people are too busy to take time to really think.
If you’ve got an objective, it takes time to think it through to determine the best method to meet the goal. The solution is not to work harder, but to work smarter. Most successful ventures are achieved only after many hours of deep thinking and careful scrutiny.
4. Loneliness – A strong leader must be able to identify readily with people, but not become one of the boys.
A leader has to be ready to walk away from the crowd and be alone like Jesus did. He must both identify with and be isolated from people. A true leader promotes others—their interests, values and goals—while at the same time striving to fulfill his own goals without being absorbed into the group. The Old Testament prophets were extremely lonely, misunderstood and rejected. Likewise, leaders are often set apart—it is a price they must pay.
5. Identification – To identify with people, the leader must make the sacrifice of taking time to know God’s Word and to share other people’s emotions, their victories and defeats.
You cannot reach God-given objectives by yourself in isolation, so you have to take time to develop and relate to the team.
“I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Cor 9:22).
6. Make Unpleasant Decisions – A leader has to make decisions that affect the ultimate good of the organization, which sometimes means removing someone who is not measuring up to the stated standard.
A person who constantly or consistently fails to perform with distinction is a hindrance to an organization’s effectiveness. To let this person continue his responsibility affects the whole group in a negative way. It hinders its progress and the ministry dynamic. Really, you are doing him a favor if he’s not doing a good job. He is being destroyed on the inside by pressure and strain, and releasing him gives him the opportunity for necessary growth.
7. Competition – This is not a bad term. Without it, man has little drive to achieve.
A leader must keep his competitive edge sharp if he is going to achieve his goals. Everyone loves to win, but at the same time, he must be willing to accept the risks of failure.
8. False Pride and Jealousy – Popularity can affect a leader’s performance. Feelings of infallibility and indispensability will decrease his effectiveness.
Every person must have some pride—it is good to be proud of achievement. It is false pride when we become wrapped up in ourselves to the point that other people count for little. A leader is more effective if he can point people to the group or organization he leads. He must stay humble, “not to think of himself more highly than he ought” (Rom 12:3). A leader who has been admired for a long time may overreact when others get promoted. Do not let jealousy set in, because “before honor comes humility” (Prov 15:33 NASB).
9. Utilization of Time – Managing your own time really means managing yourself.
If you have two leaders of equal ability, the one who best uses his time by planning his time will far outperform the other person. Plan your time. Some people put things off until they find time—and it rarely ever comes. You must make time.
10. Rejection – Be ready to pay the price of personal rejection.
In so doing, you tap into the sacrifice of Jesus: He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him (John 1:11). The leader puts the praise of God above the praise of men. He is not afraid to make an unpopular stand. He must be motivated by the love of God to handle it and also by the love of his people and his work to overcome. If the passion is strong enough the cost doesn’t matter, “for the love of Christ constrains us” (2 Cor 5:14).
William Webster said, “In my life time I have known 95 of the world’s greatest leaders and 87 of them where followers of the bible."
There is a new breed of world changers and history makers rising up within the body of Christ today. They are totally committed and are ready to deny themselves, pick up their cross and follow Jesus.
Victory pastors and leaders its our time to rise and shine and become the leading leaders God has called us to be. My prayer is that every emerging leader in our movement will rise to the challenges of this day and age and be able to see more, be more and do more, than Hazel and I have ever been able to see, be or do!
Yours for the developing and deploying of a multitude of righteous leaders that will lead!
Dr. George Hill
Victory Churches International