Monday, April 7, 2008

Leading Yourself

The hardest person you will ever lead is yourself. So where do we go for self leadership. How do we evaluate our own potential in the midst of the craziness of youth ministry?

In J. Oswald Sanders classic work "Spiritual Leadership," he gives a list of qualities that each leader needs to posses himself before he can effectively lead others.

I thought I would share this list with you:

-Have you ever broken a bad habit? To lead others you must master your appetites.

-Do you keep self control when things go wrong? The leader who looses self control when under adversity forfeits respect and influence. A leader must be calm in crisis and resilient in disappointment.

-Do you think independently? A leader must use the best ideas of others to make decisions. A leader cannot wait for others to make up his or her mind.

-Can you handle criticism? Can you profit from it? The humble person can learn from petty criticism, even malicious criticism.

-Do you readily gain the cooperation of others and win their respect and confidence?

-Can you expert discipline without making a power play? True leadership is an internal quality of the spirit that needs no show of external force.

-Are you a peacemaker? A leader must be able to reconcile with opponents and make peace when arguments have caused hostility.

-Do people trust you in difficult and delicate situations?

-Can you induce people to do happily some legitimate thing that they would not normally wish to do?

-Can you accept opposition to your viewpoint or decision without taking offense? Leaders always face opposition.

-Can you make and keep friends? Your circle of loyal friends is an index of your leadership potential.

-Do you depend on the praise of others to keep you going? Can you hold steady in the face of disapproval and even temporary loss of confidence?

-Are you at ease in the presence of strangers? Do you get nervous in the presence of your superior?

-Are the people who report to you generally at ease? A leader should be sympathetic and friendly.

-Are you interested in people? All types? All races? No prejudice?

-Are you tactful? Can you anticipate how your words will affect a person?

-Is your will strong and steady? Leaders cannot vacilitate and cannot drift with the wind.

-Can you forgive? Or do you nurse resentments and harbor ill feelings towards those who have injured you.

-Are you reasonably optimistic? Pessimism and leadership do not mix.

-Do you feel a master passion such as that of Paul, who said, "This one thing I do!" such a singleness of motive will focus your energies and powers on the desired objective. Leaders need a strong focus.

-Do you welcome responsibility?

The ultimate test of this for leaders is not if we go through it like a checklist, but if we go through it, find our area of weakness and make the changed necessary to transform our life.

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