The word leadership is often used, yet I wonder if we truly know what it means and, even more importantly, what good leadership looks like. I’m currently reading a book on 26 leadership lessons from the Apostle Paul.
Here are some quotes from the first chapter that confronted me on the subject of trust and leadership:
- How does a leader build trust? When people are convinced you will do everything in your power for their good and nothing for their harm, they will trust you.
- A leader is not someone who is consumed with his success and his best interests.
- A true leader is someone who demonstrates to everyone around him that their interests are what most occupy his heart.
- …this is why a true leader must have the heart of a servant.
I have been challenged to evaluate my motives as a husband, parent, friend, and employee. Are the needs of others my focus, or am I all about myself and my kingdom of One? I find that my reaction to difficulty exposes my motives for good or bad. These daily occurrences provide an “alarm” system (anxiety, fear, frustration, and anger) to indicate if I’m too focused on myself. I think the solution to these alarms is in serving others. I’m no longer looking at what I don’t have; instead, looking to what others around me lack and need. It calls me out of my state of self-loathing/siloed thinking and into the action of one who cares for another.
So, back to my post title: What interests occupy your heart? You can run to be fit for selfish reasons, or you can run so that you’re in shape to help others—this illustrates the same act, yet with different motives. The issue lies in the heart, and in the heart is where authentic leadership develops. Perhaps the better question to ask is: Who or what controls your heart? As that will determine what occupies your heart.