By: Emma K. Marvel
In my endless pursuit of searching for what is and is NOT a biblical practice of leadership, I’ve come to realize that all “best practices” and researched or tested leadership principles can be founded and related to an example of prime leadership skills found in the Bible. What I have also realized is that there were and are people gifted in leadership who weren’t or aren’t always aligned with the will and callings of God.
In addition, there are some individuals in the Bible that begin quite poorly and made choices that appear to be permanently marring but then once aligned with the purpose and instruction of the Lord, experience a 180 degree turn-around. This leads me to believe the following statements:
- Some people are born with an innate gift or ability to lead. (E.g. the naturally “cool” kid on the block, or the head bully that doesn’t even know what they are doing wrong.)
- Others may not be imbued with this natural tendency to stand out amongst many and draw a following, (seemingly) without effort—but what they lack, God can augment, and with time the “poor starter” can become not only an equal to the innate leader, but can even become the teacher because of all his/her previous experiences and ability to apply multiple personal examples (and what we call in education “non-examples”).
This is such a revelation to me, and hopefully to you too!
This is fantastic news!! It means we are not permanently broken or stuck with being the “underdog” all our lives. We can rise above, and become the proverbial “cherry-on-top” that we desire to be! The one whom others actually seek out when looking for good advice, idea generating, an engaging public speaker, an inspirational pep-talk, a confidant, or the new CEO for their company.
What we were born with doesn’t define what we are ultimately capable of!
I have two examples of this, in case you doubt this point of view:
Example A: I have recently begun watching a new TV show that I REALLY like, and consequently got my husband hooked on as well. It’s called “The Good Doctor” and it is about a young resident surgeon who may or may not lose his position in the new hospital that hired him—because (get this) he is both autistic (has trouble communicating in socially normal/acceptable ways) AND he is what they call a “savant” meaning he is extremely and abundantly more intelligent than, dare I say it, “the rest of us.” Oh, it’s such a great show! Shaun Murphy is the embodiment of an underdog who has fought, learned, worked, and risen to the top, despite physiology, unfavorable life experiences, and lack of conventional support system!
Example B: At one of my previous workplaces I had the pleasure of working with some wonderfully strong and resilient children who were considered to have come from “hard places” and had developed poorly because of a lack of appropriate care. Some were completely healthy and others struggled, but all of them had taken huge leaps to rise above their previously hazardous circumstances. They chose not to live in their past but to strive forward.
One specific young lady had been repeatedly locked in a closet for reasons ranging from punishment, to lack of a babysitter, to being blamed for behaving loudly or being too annoying. As a young girl she developed a way to cope in those dark, lonely, hours. She talked to her hands. They were her comfort, her friends, and her connection to the “real world.” Her sanity.
The habit prevailed after removal from this environment. Into adulthood it seemed she was unable to let go of certain childish tendencies. However, despite additional mental hurdles, she still learned to bathe, cook, clean, iron, wash and fold laundry, compute simple algebra, read, write, dance on a team, etc.
She may not have had the physical or mental faculties that Dr. Shaun Murphy has, but she worked hard, and fought her way up from the bottom. She may not become the CEO of her own company, but she has a story to tell, and she is a leader in change, positivity, fun, and a lot of times she has been the leader of getting things done!
To top off my thoughts today, I want to share two quotes and then highlight two very important qualities of a good and right-thinking leader. Maybe the most basic and necessary of all the many time-tested and researched leadership qualities out there.
A.W. Tozer, in “The Pursuit of God” after discussing a list of major spiritual leaders goes on to say this:
“…one vital quality which they had in common was spiritual receptivity. Something in them was open to heaven, something which urged them God-ward. […] they went on to cultivate it until it became the biggest thing in their lives. They differed from the average person in that when they felt the inward longing they did something about it. They acquired the lifelong habit of spiritual response.”
Those are my top two goals. Are they yours?
We would love to hear your thoughts on the matter!
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