Leadership vs. Leaders

Chuck Jones, who created Bugs Bunny,  used to have this phrase at the beginning of some of his cartoons and it said something like this, "Any similarities to anyone in this cartoon is purely co-incidental." I love that because what followed was a lampooning of anyone and everyone with such accuracy you knew exactly who the target was.

The same could be said for this post.  Any similarities to anyone you know in this post is purely co-incidental.  It is my hope that you will be reminded of people or a person in your life and who knows, it may just be the person I had in mind as well.

I've been reading again about leadership, specifically John Maxwell and it's got my brain going on the subject.

There are some who are leaders and then there are others who are in a position of leadership.  What's the difference?

Several years ago I was asked to coach (lead) my church softball team.  Anyone who knows me knows I'm not the best player, but I can and was willing to navigate through the meetings, the details and mundane tasks of line-ups, schedules and deal with officials.  After just a few practices, however, I realized that I was in a leadership position but I was not the leader of this team.  The leader was the third baseman.  The third baseman was a man much younger than I but who just had 'it' when it came to getting this team to play and play well.  I had a choice to make, do I stand my ground or do I do what I am good at and let him do what he is good at.  I chose the latter.  He was the leader but I was in the one in a leadership position.

I could have stood my ground and stated things like, 'I was chosen to lead!', 'I spend lots of time everyday reading over the rule book.", 'I've done this before so just trust me, I know what I am doing!' or 'Either you are going to let me lead or I don't need you on my team.'  Now, I could have said all those things and technically speaking they would be right because I was in a position of leadership but I would have been in the wrong because I was NOT the leader of the team.  Do you see my point? 

Unfortunately, over the years, I have seen just the opposite play out.  Someone who was in my position often will dig in an 'hold their ground', acting like a petulant child in order to keep their place as the leader despite the damage they create while doing so. 

What kind of damage do the create?  

Damage to people, the institution they serve and many times their own witness. 

Reminds me of Moses and Joshua. Joshua has had a special moment with the Lord in Joshua 5:15: "The commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, "Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.".

Because of his special blessing, he was appointed as one with judicial powers and responsibilities in Joshua 14:6-15. He had a special place. He was courageous as indicated by the spy scenario in Numbers 13:31.  In other words, Joshua, like my third baseman had 'skills'. 

Moses could have viewed him as a threat to his 'position' but instead, Moses brought him to the table of leadership because he was the best person for the job.   

Now before you say Amen too loudly, this is really an issue of pride.  Look into a mirror and ask this question about your own life.  Am I leading because I am in a position of leadership or should God be leading me because he's got the real 'skills.'

Be. Pray. Give.