I've been thinking lately a lot about leadership. To be honest, I'm striving to grow in my own leadership, as well as work through what my leadership development of others looks like.
I think leadership development is crucial in any growing, life-giving organization. As I've thought about it recently, it seems there are certain things that any given leader must be willing to do.
Here's the 4 things:
- Leaders must be willing to be first in the water. - I was watching Shark Week a while back and in one of the shows, a rookie crew member mistakenly left the anchor rope in the water when the motor was started. That led to the rope getting tangled in the motor in the midst of shark infested waters. There was no safe way to deal with the situation. The only solution? Dive into the water and get to work. What I noticed was in this life-or-death, crucial situation for this team, it wasn't the rookie that got thrown into the water. It was the ship's captain who jumped in. The task was crucial and deadly. So the leader went first. Leaders have to be willing to be the first in the water...especially when there are sharks!
- Leaders must be willing to be misunderstood. - If you lead in any way, you WILL be misunderstood. People will misunderstand your motives, your decisions, your vision, and your direction. Leading others means making hard choices, which are often misunderstood by the crowd.
- Leaders must be willing to make tough decisions. - Leadership requires a commitment to the good and the vision of an organization above anything else. That means, from time to time, there will be hard decisions and tough choices that must be made. A real leader is willing to DECIDE, not delegate in the toughest of situations.
- Leaders must be willing to act before they are comfortable. - Leadership means navigating waters that are often unexplored. Leaders often are called to act before they, or others, are comfortable in order to continue to chart a course for the vision and future of the organization.
Leading is tough. It requires a certain amount of courage to lead well. But if your willing to put it all on the line for the vision and mission of your organization, leading can help you leave a legacy far beyond your life.