The Essence of Leadership

The Pillars of LEADership

Recently, I sat in a planning session for a large organization’s Leadership Development Program and it provoked me to make some notes on the essence of leadership. I boiled it down to the following four points, an acronym for LEAD.

Lead with Love.  You can never fully lead until you can fully love. Leadership is completely relational – you never lead in a bubble. Furthermore, you will burn out quickly if your leadership goals are self-centered.

A key concept of leadership is impartation. What’s inside of you flows through you – whether you are conscious of it or not. Hurting people hurt other people, thus effective leaders are those who have experienced healing and restoration. They can forgive quickly and see the best in others. The heart of leadership is love.

Encourage – Encouragement is the gift of providing others with inner strength and courage. It is said that leaders are dealers in hope. The best leaders are activating other leaders by speaking life over them and spurring them on through positive expectation.

Advance – Leaders are actively advancing. You’re either going forward or backward – there’s no such thing as staying the same in leadership. Leaders are growing personally and setting the bar high. A culture of excellence is created by those who read, learn, reach, and promote growth. Leaders show the way, set the pace, and lead by example.

Discuss – The art of communication is the language of leadership. Regardless of the arena you are leading in, cultivate the art of clear, effective communication. It is an act of respect to let others know about decisions that affect them.

There’s an ongoing discussion about whether leaders are born or made.  The answer is, “both”. Natural gifts are inherent but they must be developed. It’s said that change is inevitable but growth is optional. Not so, for those who lead well.

This is not a time to hope someone else will step up and fill the worldwide need for leaders with integrity. Leadership is a verb – it requires action. Your serve.

(Thank you to Destiny Worship Center for the use of this video.)

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