Realizing Our Leadership Potentials

As I was preparing training slides for my next presentation on leadership, I came across two concepts that struck a chord in me. The first concept was coined by Dr. Myles Munroe in his book entitled Becoming A Leader (1993). He used the phrase “out there.” He writes, “While we often think of leaders as “out there,” we need to look within ourselves. Each one of us is a leader who can affect the people and institutions in our own spheres of influence” (p.13).

 When there is a just cause; whom do you look to? Is there anyone better than you “who can get the job done so said that inner voice?  Often the right person is our self.  We need to look within ourselves to get the job done, to improve the employees’ morale, to right the wrong. Who do you have influence with; what changes have been made in the past because of what you said or did? You can do it again. Leaders are not people “out there.” Leaders are ordinary people who accept or, due to circumstances, are thrust into taking charge; and in the process, “bring forth their latent potential, producing character that inspires the confidence and trust of others” (Becoming A Leader, 1993, p.12).

 Now pause and think for a minute. What about that time when you were thrust into a leadership role. Think of the people you influenced. What about those changes that were made due to your efforts and the efforts of those you led. Because of that special journey, you are still seen as a leader and are often called to lead the next adventure whether it is on your job, your neighborhood, a civic affiliation or in your faith community.

 This brings me to the second concept which was coined by John Maxwell. He stated that leadership is a journey. It is a “journey that starts where you are, not where you want to be” (The 360 Degree Leader, 2005, p.274).  Often times we want to get ahead of ourselves. We want to be the CEO of the company, the president or chair of a particular group or the one who will lead the next march on City Hall or Washington.

 Maxwell writes that “you need to have your eyes fixed on your current responsibilities, not the ones you wish to have someday” (p.275). If you are not successful at your current level how can you assure others and yourself that you will be successful and will be “a qualifier for leading at the next level” (p.274)? As discussed in an earlier post, Henry and Richard Blackaby believe that prior small successes can be a good sign post for emerging leaders to take on greater responsibilities and that these successes, along with the person’s life experiences, can greatly affect the kind of leader a person will become (Spiritual Leadership, 2001).

 Have you been there; I know I have? You want the larger role, but at the same time, there are unfinished businesses at your current level of responsibilities. If we take care of our present responsibilities, the future will take care of itself. Greater responsibilities and yes, sometimes a new title, more money, different stressors and headaches will come with your prized endeavor; but it is not your time yet. You have current responsibilities to take care of.

 Leadership is a journey and like all journeys we pack our essentials to assure a safe, but fun trip. But like many journeys there are surprises along the way. Those surprises will not deter us if we do our homework before hand. As it relates to leadership, the leader must know where he wants to go. The leader must have a vision; a vision that usually comes from the leader’s conviction. On this journey, will the leader have followers? The leader needs people who will follow her, protect her and help her realize her vision. The leader and followers are confident about this new journey because of the leader’s success with previous journeys.

 So we see that leadership is not a one time effort. It is a life time journey often prompted by our inner voice to right the wrong, to improve job processes, to enhance our neighborhoods and to strengthen our faith community.

So are you ready to listen to your inner voice and begin your next journey? We are counting on you.

A Life Time of Changes

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but, seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22, the NIV Study Bible.

 They say that cats have nine (9) lives. Often times I feel humankind needs 9+ lives. Unfortunately, we have only this one life to live. However, I believe God gives us a life time of chances to get it right.

 In Psalm 11:7 it reads that God’s business is putting things right (The Message). Thanks to the unselfish sacrifice of Jesus, I am confident God will never give up on us. I am praying that God’s mercy and grace are such that we a have life time to get it right. I am banking on that. In fact, I am banking on God giving us eternity to get it right.

Let’s Not Forget the Omissions of Our Past

My preference is that this blog be neutral when it comes to politics. However, I don’t want us to forget the omissions of our past so I decided to publish this   alert.

Subject: ACTION ALERT: MCC Statement on Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill

written by Rev. Elder Dr. Charles Arehart

On behalf of Metropolitan Community Churches worldwide we humbly but boldly remind the world “communion of faiths” and the Ugandan nation that soon after Adolph Hitler came to power in Germany he gave the order that Jews, Homosexuals, and Gypsies be put to death because they were Jews, Homosexuals, or Gypsies. In the years following over 6 million Jews were put to death, close to 1/2 million Homosexuals executed, and tens of thousands of Gypsies mercilessly murdered. At the end of the second World War the community of nations defined the action of the Nazis as genocide. Thousands were found guilty of these crimes against humanity and executed for their crime. Genocide is genocide regardless whether a nation legalizes it within its borders or not. It was and is forever illegal and abhorrent.

The Ugandan people are a people of faith. Almost all your citizens worship the one God we call Allah; Jehovah; or God Triune who is Creator, Child, and Holy Spirit. The majority of your citizens are Anglican or Roman Catholic believing Jesus is God become human. This Jesus of yours is the Jesus of Metropolitan Community Churches. We affirm as do you Jesus’ teachings. The Sovereign Christ teaches us to “love one another” and “do unto others as we would have others do unto us”. Jesus forgave the woman caught in the very act of adultery, forgives each of you, and me. At the foot of the cross those of us who call ourselves Christians realize we are all sinners redeemed by God’s matchless merciful grace.

Therefore Metropolitan Community Churches:

1) Ask those embracing the Christian faith, regardless of denominational affiliation, to join your voices with ours asking the government of Uganda to not pass this legislation.

2) Ask people of all religious faiths worldwide to unite with us asking the Ugandan government to not institutionalize genocide by passing this law as did the Nazis three quarters of a century ago.

3) Ask the sovereign government of Uganda to not pass legislation mandating the death penalty for any person determined to be homosexual just because that person is homosexual.

We must never forget the Holocaust and always remember silence always equals death.

Learn more from Rev. Jide Macaulay, founder/pastor of House of Rainbow from;

How Big is Your Faith

33 Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. 36 Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 David said, “The LORD, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.” So Saul said to David, “Go, and may the LORD be with you!” 1 Samuel 17: 33-37 NRSV.

 Are you familiar with the story of David and Goliath?  How David slew the giant. If you are not; please take a few minutes and read the entire 1 Samuel chapter 17. I wondered if David would have chosen to fight Goliath if he had not had some small success in his past (note verses 34-35). I believe that God gives us little victories throughout our lives to prepare us for greater challenges and yes, greater victories in our future. Henry & Richard Blackaby in their book entitled “Spiritual Leadership” talked about a successful track record and illustrated this biblically in Matthew 25:33 when Jesus told the story of three servants and how they utilized the talents given to them by their master (for a complete understanding of the story begin with verse 14). The Blackaby’s also writes that “emerging leaders may not yet have major accomplishments to their credit, but they should be accumulating a series of small successes” (p.111).

 Well let’s review the outcome in Matthew 25:33. The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

  The common interpretation of this parable is that those who are faithful with little will receive more from God. Said another way, God gives victory in response to our faith. The greater our faith; the more willingness we are to be obedient to our next challenge God will inspire us to perform.

At my secular job, I have a tag line attached to my email, which reads:  Turning challenging opportunities into remarkable successes.” It is a statement taken from the Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner’s book entitled “The Leadership Challenge.” I adopted this as an outgrowth of my own experience of small successes, and my desire to focus upon faith in self, faith in those I lead, faith in my teammates and above all faith in God.


A New Start

I decided to begin this year with a repeat blog I wrote on January 8, 2009 (see Faithscape is an opportunity to share our faith journey and its connectedness to servant leadership. Please spend sometime with me this year as we explore new ways to touch people’s lives.

“9 History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. 10 What can you point to that is new? How do you know it didn’t already exist long ago? 11 We don’t remember what happened in those former times. And in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now” (Ecclesiastes 1: 9-11; New Living Translation Bible).

As I read this scripture this morning, I reflected back on why I decided to do this blog. What do I want to do; what do I want to communicate; do I have something new to say? In my journal dated 12/18/08, I wrote: “is it time to “think” about writing that book. All great leaders write books. What do I have to share; what can I share with the world that is unique? How do I speak to the world…maybe a blog! God, I pray that you open my mind to this possibility, amen.”

Today, it hit me again—do I have something new to say? Are the verses above true—has it already been said/written. My wish, my hope is to re-create, to bring new thoughts to old sayings and beliefs; to write about leadership, in particular, “transforming servant” leadership in a new and different way.

As I put my thoughts down on paper in the coming months, I pray that you would dialogue with me and with others as we collectively re-create, offer new insights about service, about transformation, about motivating men and women to become “transforming servant leaders. Let’s pray

Dear Creator, open our eyes to new beginnings, to new insights about you and about our world. I pray that through this blog that a dialogue will begin on how we can build better leaders who have a passion to lead, to serve and to transform our world, our industries and our faith communities in ways so that more of heaven is here on this earth. Amen.