Have you ever wondered what constitutes good leadership?
I have asked that question for many years, with the thought in mind that most of our readers have seen leadership strengths and weaknesses in the supervisors they have worked for.
Certainly all of us have lived our lives under the leadership of political leaders. Some of them showed good leadership characteristics, some less than good. This means every human alive has worked or lived under some kind of leadership.
For over 54 years in the workplace, I have experienced all kinds of leadership characteristics, not unlike some of you. I rejoiced under good leadership, but when I worked for leaders who suffered from poor leadership qualities, I prayed for them and hoped for better leadership ahead. Often, during those debilitating times, I lived out my working existence in laboring, sometimes painful, patience.
About seven years ago, our son Phil, whom we call “Dr. Phil,” and who is a professor of communication at a large university in the U.S., discussed with me the significant differences between being a leader and the assumption that since one is in a leadership position, he must automatically exhibit true leadership.
Dr. Phil knows something about leadership. He teaches it and has taught it in some of his university classes for at least a decade. He has been recognized for his work in leadership on the university level by the governor of his state.
Our ongoing discussions about true leadership inspired me to write three other articles on this important subject in another United Church of God publication.
Perhaps my greatest motivation came from the many appointed leaders that I worked with over five decades. The many lessons I learned over these long years regarding leadership are priceless, although I wouldn't want to go through some of those experiences again. Poor leadership is destructive. Good leadership is constructive.
The greatest impediment to true leadership, not just good leadership, is human nature. Human nature is behind most of our personal failings in this life. Jesus identified our human nature in two parts: human good and evil (Matthew 7:11 Matthew 7:11If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
American King James Version×). Inferior leadership characteristics can often be traced to the caprice and vagaries of human nature. It's a compilation of domineering, manipulating, and controlling addictive behavior.
Good leadership comes from applying the human rules and roles of good human leadership. Certainly U.S. Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are in this category. But the greatest leadership comes only from God and Christ.
True leadership can be and should be learned and is best observed in those who have (or have been given) God's gift of the Holy Spirit, the “excellent spirit” that was in the wise prophet Daniel (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×; Daniel 5:12 Daniel 5:12For as much as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.
American King James Version×). The essence of great leadership is found in Christ's two great commandments: Love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. This is what Jesus Christ did. He is the ultimate model for true leadership. His fundamental laws of true leadership are found in the July/August 2012 issue of The Good News magazine .
The Good News is made available to you, free of charge, for the express purpose of improving your life and the lives of your loved ones, and to learn and practice true leadership.
Thanks for subscribing to, reading and sharing The Good News . May God bless you with His words of wisdom and His peace that eclipses all human understanding (Philippians 4:7 Philippians 4:7And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×), and may your future true leadership characteristics be honored by God and man.