- A Leader is raised up in the moment of crisis.
Leaders arise because of a problem. They start with a problem. Without there being a problem there can be no leaders. Leaders are God’s emergency men and women in a time of crisis.
When a person is called to lead, they start by seeing the challenges faced by others and develop compassion for their situation. These challenges become a burden to them. A burden so heavy that they would much rather die than live aware that they have not served the duty that is before them.
This is why Mandela chose to rather stay in jail for 27 years than lead a prosperous life as a black lawyer. Returning to his former life, while watching the sufferings of others, would only bring misery.
My question to you is: Do you see the problem your people are facing? Do you see the burdens their carrying or do you just only see your own problems?
This brings us to our second point.
- Leaders are driven by the needs of others
Leaders are driven by the needs of others. They are motivated by the situation of their communities, their places of work. They are not motivated just by personal interests: making money, power and prestige.
While these may be some of the benefits of brilliant leadership but these motives can only take you so far, pretty soon they are exposed for their frivolity, their own shakiness. They are limiting you.
Put differently if you really wanna go big, then choose a battle that is bigger than your own. Pick a challenge that is impossible to accomplish on your own.
If you have not thought this deep yet, then you are always going to be responding to whims. Things that come and go. Even those that are not it, because you did not take the time to trouble yourself with needs beyond yourself.
Let me give an example. Curro Holdings Ltd. is a JSE Listed company in the field of education. It is one of the top performers on the market. It began as a person saw the challenge of education, that parents wanted a decent education for their children, and State-run education was crumbling. There was therefore room for private players to support the social need for education by investing in it. Curro saw the need of their community for quality education, and were motivated by it to start their business.
You too can do the same, only if you open your eyes to the needs of others.
- The of Leadership Cost:
In every decision there is a cost and a payoff. Indeed even with leadership there is a cost involved.
One must accept that there may come a time when they are unpopular as a leader. People tend to follow those who will satisfy their desires in the immediate. But leaders have foresight—they live tomorrow today.
As a result, they have to make decisions which cut-down on enjoyment and pleasure for today in order to reap satisfaction in the future.
It is like a parent who buys clothes for a growing child. Every parent knows that children grow quickly. So when they buy clothes they pick sizes that are slightly bigger than the current size of the child, so that they can wear those clothes even tomorrow.
Wearing clothes today that don’t quite fit is like making decisions today that don’t quite make sense, but in the long run they lead to happy people who have been adequately prepared for what they future may have in-store.
It is natural for a person to desire to be liked; to have people who like you gives one a sense of belonging in the world, and makes you feel connected to a greater whole. But if all your decisions are based on being liked, you are deceiving.
- Live Amazed
“Look among the nations and watch—be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.” These are words spoken by God to a man called Habakkuk in the Bible, in a time of chaos.
The fact that God starts his response to Habakkuk by saying “look” is not because he is blind. But there is clearly something that Habakkuk is not seeing about his present situation.
In your life too, there is this thing you are not seeing in your hardship. There is something you are unable to visualize in the chaos that is happening around you.
The big question is: Are you ready to see it, or has it become comfortable to complain with the rest? Are you willing to change your mind about how you perceive things?
Are you willing to stop being easily offended? Are you willing to stop believing there is no hope?
You may be feeling yourself quite justified in your observation of hopelessness, it may have even become your crutch, that you use to propel yourself forward as better than the rest. That you use to justify your reasoning, “let me do my own thing, so that I am secured”.
But this attitude is distancing you from the very people you have been called to lead. In your wanting to do your own thing, you are distancing yourself from your constituents, the people who are ready to accept leadership, and to obey that leadership as well. No one leads in a cave. All leaders need people.
No one runs a successful business without people who support the business.
No one designs the car for the future without people who will ride in it.
No one writes a novel with no reader in mind.
People need to relate to you as a leader, they need to know that they can relate to you, that they find you approachable.
By Thokozani Mhlambi