Leaders, there are those who lead by inspiration and those that lead by desperation. This conclusion comes to be after a combination of life experience and as a result of some long time mentoring.
My mentor is former pastor and friend who has spent a lifetime working with and developing true leaders both inside and outside the church. He is in the process of writing a book on the subject and recently we talked about the book and subject in detail. I'll share more details about the book and author in future posts but for now, what do I mean by there are leaders who lead by inspiration and those that lead by desperation.
The inspiration led leader is pretty clear to see. These leaders have a quality about them that creates trust, passion and commitment in those they lead that they not only display but live out in all aspects of their lives. They have character that can hold up to the tightest scrutiny. These leaders, by their example, are a part of the pack they are leading and often found along side of others with a 'let's go to work' mentality. They also don't operate with a, 'I know what's best' mentality; rather they wrestle and often struggle with any decision or choice of significance. Finally, they operate in an environment of accountability. Period. They allow themselves to be held accountable to others on a consistent basis.
1 Timothy 3:1-7 says, "The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? ..."
The desperation led leader is also pretty clear to see. These 'leaders' use intimidation to force trust and commitment in those they lead, they have control issues. They use this intimidation to create a fear for your job mentality. Either criticism is all your hear or silence is their weapon of choice. They talk a good game but don't live it out in their lives. You as a (reluctant) follower wonder sometimes about what they must be like at home. They often disappear or only appear when others are watching when it comes to digging in to get the job done. Their attitude is often condescending and you get the feeling you are being talk 'at' instead of 'to' or 'with'. Finally, they pay lip service to accountability but retreat to a comfort zone of 'yes men' or 'yes women'.
Matthew 23:1-39 says, "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others."".
The truth of the matter is the qualities that make someone a good leader should be true for us all because in some way we are ALL leaders, whether we like it or not.
Over the years I have had experience with both...which one are you?