Leaders need qualities that set them apart from others. In every age there comes a time when a leaders must come forward to meet the need of the hour. Therefore, there is no potential leader who does not have an opportunity to make a positive difference in society. Tragically, there are times when a leader does not rise to that hour.
I was attending a business conference in Monrovia few weeks back and the keynote speaker at the conference bless God SO much for giving this country to Liberians and all of the resources that it has but feared that Liberia does not have leaders who truly have a heart for this country. The speaker further stressed that Liberia’s problem was a lack of leadership and prayed that God will raise up leaders who have a heart for this country and its people.
Friend, why is it that when circumstances call for it, a leader does not rise to that hour? Many times it is because people have not prepared their hearts to serve. It is important that leaders develop the “skills” in order to lead effectively. However, there are several important qualities of the heart that every great leader should build into his or her life, first before they lead others.
The below should guide a leader’s life: 1) A leader must have a great purpose in life. Friend, do you know your God-given purpose in life? What are your burdens? What are your gifts and/or natural talents? What are your desires and passions? What do others affirm about you? What are your dreams and visions? What opportunities are in front of you? 2) A leader must serve in attitude and action. Friend the best way to accomplish your purpose is to serve people. Leaders naturally arise when someone determines to serve… it always starts with a need. That need sparks passion within a person. That person acts in respond to the need. This action moves others to cooperate. An example is Martin Luther King Jr., and the Civil rights movement, Nelson Mandela and the ANC fight against apartheid and Mahatma Gandhi and his fight for liberation.
3) A leader must stir up the gifts in himself and others. Friend, Leaders naturally arise, when they find their gift and use it to serve. It usually follows this order: First, a leader identifies a primary gift. Second, they develop that gift. Third, they match that gift with a place of service. Fourth, that gift provides a platform for influence and fifth, the leader eventually flourishes because of their gift. 4) A leader is secure enough to empower others. Friend, leaders who are not secure in their own identity will eventually sabotage their leadership. Insecure leaders become their own worst enemy. This is what many of our leaders in this country are. They are insecure. And because they are insecure they lacked vision and do not long to take their leadership somewhere, break new grounds or conquering new world. Friend, secure leaders draw strength from identity while insecure leaders draw strength from image.
5) A leader is the one who has chosen to be an example before he leads others. Many people have asked me how do we engage in training and in leading others. The first I will say to you is to do it yourself. If you cannot lead yourself or developed a discipline habit, then you cannot lead others. Do it yourself because people learn what they see.
The below are reasons why a heart of integrity is SO important to Leaders: First, Leadership functions on the basis of trust. Second, integrity has high influence value. Third, our tendency is to work harder on our image than on our integrity. Fourth, integrity means living the truth myself, before leading others. Fifth, a charismatic personality may draw people, but only integrity will keep them. Six, integrity is a victory not a gift. Seventh, you will only become what you are becoming – right now. And eight, leaders are to live by a higher standard than followers.
Friend, leadership is about inspiring people not about managing people as it is the work of a manager. So, if you are a manager, I will encourage you to become a leader-manager so that you will lead people and not manage them because people don’t want to be managed they want to be inspired to do better jobs.
(Chealy Brown Dennis is a motivational speaker and offers training in leadership and organizational development; strategic planning, wealth creation and team building and management and offers on-location and train-the-trainer formats. He can be contacted through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on phone at: 0886-264-611 or 0776-545-394)