"Ask not what your country can do for you, Ask what you can do for your country". Most of us recognize this quote by John F. Kennedy. How about this one, " I have not yet begun to fight". This quote was by a military leader who was asked to give up by his enemy. This leader was John Paul Jones. Hereís another quotation: " Only you can prevent forest fires". Most of the kids will recognize this quote from "Smokey the Bear." Even he makes an important and worthwhile statement here.
I have mentioned two different leaders of past history. Now letís ask: "what makes a good leader?" Or should the question be: "Are leaders born?"
To answer these questions letís look at the "Qualities of a Leader".
Leadership is a recognition of spiritual maturity, proven character, and the reputation you have developed both inside and outside the Church of God. To be a leader we look at how well we manage our personal lives. For example: Our physical bodies, our minds, our money, our family, and as we mentioned before, our reputation. These are all situations that we have control over, but how we control them determines the type of leader we will be.
I would like to take the word LEAD and break it down by using each letter to represent a quality. Letís start with the letter "L".
L. - Learn to Lead
Before anyone can be a successful leader, he must learn how to lead. Ask God for help in this matter and look at some examples in the Bible.
Read autobiographies of Leaders to learn what kind of decisions were made in different situations of their lives. History gives us 20/20 vision, so learn from others actions.
E.- Lead by Example
We are to be a light to the world. We must set a right example by being fair, honest, and trustworthy. A leader must have a deep and uncompromising commitment to what is right. Christ set the example for us to live by. We should be loyal to those who are over us as well as those that we may be over. We must remember that actions speak louder than words. If we can remember to be humble then we will set the right example.
A. - Attitude
Having a positive attitude is a very important part of being a leader. Your attitude not only affects the way you handle potential problems, but it affects the way people interact with you. If you pay close attention to what you say to people and consider their feelings, then you will be able to present an atmosphere of a positive attitude. Along with a positive attitude a leader must be balanced and be emotionally in control.
D. - Be Decisive and Make Right Decisions
A good leader is founded on the ability to evaluate a situation and make the right decision. To do this , you must first gather all the facts, seek advice and counsel. We know that God tells us that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors, and next, always pray about your decisions. Go to God in faith and explain the situation to Him and ask for His help and intervention. God says ask and you shall receive.
God is looking for good leaders.
A good leader is made through a lot of hard work and dedication to a purpose. A true leader has the attitude of a servant. In following Christí example, as a leader by service to His people, we should be willing to lead by being a servant of God, having a strong commitment to helping others.
"A Sense of a Goose"
Now letís read a story from one of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books. The author is unknown.
"Next fall, when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in "V" formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way."
"As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own."
"People who share a common
direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another."
"When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone-and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front."
"If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those people who are headed the same way we are."
"When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point."
"It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs, whether with people or with geese flying south."
"Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed."
"What messages do we give when we honk from behind?"
"Finally-and this is important - when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies; and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group."
"If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that."
"Most people like to see heroís or like to be in the company of a hero. By working hard to make these qualities a natural part of your everyday life, not only will you be a strong and respected leader, you will be that hero."
To serve is to lead. To lead is to serve. There is a burden that goes with leadership and that burden is that you have a responsibility to other people.
Letís remember these four qualities of leadership: Learn to Lead, Lead by Example, Have a Right Attitude, and Be Decisive and Make Right Decisions.