LEADERSHIP BEGINS WITH THE HEART
This is one of my greatest takeaways in a course I took on transformational leadership.
An insecure leader is alarmed when someone else from his team or ministry is performing well and noticed by others. He compares himself with other leaders, rejoicing when he’s doing better than them or mourning if they’re faring better than him. He is paranoid over what others think of him or will say about him. If this happens again and again, it’s hard to think how an insecure person will last long in leadership.
A secure and confident leader, however, would rejoice with his team when they are performing well and would empower them to develop more. He would celebrate with other leaders who are doing well and would humble himself to learn from those who are better than him. Criticism is taken calmly and peacefully, seeking approval only from the Lord. A leader who is secure, can you visualize the impact he can make to his surroundings?
A secure leader will enable progress in his team, ministry, or organization. Moreover, he will further advance the kingdom of God. The world is in need of secure leaders. We must produce more of them. But more importantly, we should begin with ourselves!
The Bible tells us to guard our hearts. I know many of us love to hear those words and we jump to our feet, ready to engage in discussions about matters of the heart. But “guard your heart” doesn’t just apply to romantic issues. It also applies to leadership. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, / for from it flow the springs of life” (ESV).
To keep our hearts with all vigilance mean that we guard it above all else. (The NIV actually translates the first half of the verse as “Above all else, guard your heart.”). In other words, we must pay careful attention in protecting it. We must regard its protection with utmost importance. Why? Because “from it flow the springs of life.”
So what does that mean? Wayne Grudem comments, “The picture is that your heart is like a stream of water that’s continually flowing out to touch and impact people around you that you come in contact with. And so when we’ve got a picture that your life is continually flowing out from your heart to impact other people.”
Our hearts impact other people. That’s why leadership must begin with the heart. If we are leading with a wrong heart, it will affect the people around us negatively.
Leading with a secure heart seems hard or even impossible to do. But there’s hope for us leaders. We now turn to Jesus. A quick tour of His life reveals this.
Jesus is God. Yet He emptied himself, took the form of a servant, and was born in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:7). He was even born in a manger, a humble way to be born. He left the heavens and “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45, ESV). Why such humility? Because He was secure.
When Satan offered Him “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory” (Matthew 4:9-10, ESV), He rejected. When He perceived that the people “were about to come and take him by force to make him king,” He withdrew to the mountain (John 6:15, ESV). Why the refusal? Because He was secure, only seeking the approval of His Father.
When He was about to go back to His Father, He served His disciples by washing their feet (John 13:4-5), an act which was usually done by the lowest member of a household. But why such act? He was secure, “knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God” (John 13:3, ESV).
Leadership begins with the heart. As leaders, we must be secure in God. Jesus left us an example to follow. So let’s look to Him, asking Him to help us lead with a secure heart.
This article was originally from the author’s blog at enzocortes.com
Writer’s Bio:Enzo Cortes is a student-volunteer for Christ’s Commission Fellowship’s (CCF) youth ministry, more known as the Jzone Ministry. He is active in reaching out to the students from Taft Schools. He also handles a small group of male college students and mentors them on Christian living and leadership. Enzo enjoys speaking for youth and young adult groups, inspiring them to live Christ-centered lives. He loves to write blogs, read Christian books and blogs, run long miles, drink coffee, and eat donuts.