Friday, March 7, 2008

"There are lots of ideas of what leadership is. 1 : The office or position of a leader. 2 : Capacity to lead. 3 : The act or an instance of leading" - Merriam Webster

The simplest and best definitions of leadership I have heard come from Chuck Swindoll and John Maxwell.

"Leader is inspiring influence." - Chuck Swindoll.

"Leadership is influence"- John Maxwell

Leadership is influencing others thoughts or feelings to bring about a desired outcome through their actions. There is a big difference between leading through power or position and leading through respect. Many people can simply force people to do what they want because they have the power or the position to make them. However, few people like to be forced to do anything. Eventually such “power driven leadership” destroys relationships. On the other hand, some have the ability to lead through respect. R espect is something you gain – it’s given to you by the people you positively influence. How does one gain respect from those they lead? Only through service and sacrifice. When people see that you have their best interests at heart, when they see you are willing to sacrifice and serve them you will earn their respect and they will be willing to follow.

That’s servant leadership. Jesus, the greatest leader in human history, said, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).