Thought you may like this quote I came across today on leadership from JackWelch the former CEO of General Electric- He said that there are times that come when a leader
"cannot be this thoughtful, in-the-corner guru. You cabot be a moderate, balanced, thoughtful, careful articulator of policy. You've got to be on the lunatic fringe."
We all know that sometimes there comes a point when things have been processed into oblivion and you as a leader have to take charge and make the tough decisions. Decisions which affect the lives of those around us and the futures of those we lead.
The past two weeks at the church I attend here in London we have been exploring this theme of leadership through the eyes of the apostle Paul as he handed over leadership of his early church to Timothy - you can hear the sermons here.
As John (our church leader) so helpfully explained, the mantle of leadership is on a constant cycle of passing on the younger generations, the men and women who will lead the church/office/country in years to come. I find myself in such a position now, as I seek to train and lead in some capacity a team in the work environment, and also find new places to lead and explore in a church context.
On the work front as I seek to train a team of highly credible and swithed on individuals, I begin to feel pangs of what I like to call the Moses syndrome- the symptoms of which are highly unpleasant, however they manifest themselves differently in all of us. You may know it yourself, that feeling that you are called and chosen for a task, but in many ways feel wholly inadequate to take it on.
When Moses found himself upon mount sinai and heard God himself tell him that he would lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, i think two things were happening in his head. Firstly he felt crushed with the weight of the task ahead, and secondly he was being confronted with a calling from God, an undeniable calling.
This is difficult to comprehend, as we read in Genesis Moses wrestled mentally and spiritually to get his ear in the place where he could walk into the courts of the Pharoah and command him to let his people go. However any leader who has ever felt that call to lead will at some point or another feel that pang of moses syndrome, as they face what seems to be their own mount Sinai moment.
The crunch of all this (as John so helpfully illustrated last night) is that we who are called as leaders should be able to stand with out heads held high when we acknowledge our gift and call to leadership. We do not need to apologise for this, and it is in no way un-Christian or boasting. Because the point is our leadership (or perhaps the best kind of leadership) is to SERVE. It is only in servanthood that our leadership life can truly thrive and grow.
So whether you are leading a team in the workplace, the church, the factory, the home or the hospital, seek to serve those whom you lead. No one likes to be led, but we love to be served.