Virtuous leadership is sorely lacking in the world today – in government, in business, within religious traditions, even within our own families. Many people sit in positions of leadership but don’t lead. Others lead but with a focus on self rather than service to others.
In last Sunday’s gospel lesson at my (Matt) church, Jesus reminded his followers that those who would be first must be last and those who are true leaders are first of all, servants. He placed a child in his lap to emphasize the point that true leaders often will serve those who are unable to repay them. When we serve someone in need with no thought of repayment, we exercise the greatest form of leadership, the leadership of humble service to those in need.
Today, ask yourself what leadership roles you occupy. Are you fulfilling those roles with a focus on others – serving them, helping them, caring for them – regardless of what they can or can’t do for you? Or are your own goals and your own ego driving much of what you think, do and say as a leader? Reflect deeply on the leader you should be, the leader that the world needs you to be. And beginning right now, make it your aim to daily live out your leadership roles with virtue – being humble, grateful and focused on others. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll accomplish when your focus is not you. You’ll also be surprised by the joy you experience.
Below are some great quotes on leadership from the CEO of Lifehack. Perhaps one or more speak powerfully to you – if so, memorize them and speak them – to yourself and to others.
“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” – Harold S. Geneen
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
“No person will make a great leader who wants to do it all themselves or get all the credit for doing it.” – Andrew Carnegie