The Heart of a Leader

Introduction- Leadership

 

A true leader makes themselves irrelevant but also raising up a replacement. A true leader’s legacy is not found in buildings or things but the people they raised up. A true leader is a role model. A true leader knows those who they lead and leads a few steps ahead always calling those that follow to press on. A true leader walks in love. They have received His love and now and have laid their lives down for the brethren.

Love must be at the heart and driving force of a leader. We will spend time discussing love because the degree you walk in love will determine your success. We discover that “faith works through love,” (Galatians 5:6). Love energizes faith and makes faith effective. Faith without love can’t reach its full potential. So love must be the foundation and driving force of a leader.

For bodily discipline is only little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

1 Timothy 4: 8

Paul did not say physical exercise was of no value. He does say it brings profit. Many leaders have died early because they neglected their physical bodies. We need to take care of our physical bodies. We need to work out and seek to live healthy. But natural things have limited profit. If I study to be a doctor it serves me to be a doctor but not if I want to be a kindergarten teacher. A lawyer may study for many years and get their law degree but it profits little to them if they decide to be a chief.

Secondly, you can’t take them to heaven. I have my degrees and many certificates, etc. which I put on my wall and they look good. They can profit me while I am on the earth if they have relevancy but when I get to heaven they are of no use. I won’t have a wall cover in this certificates. I can’t take them with me.

But spiritual things profit us no matter what we do. Spiritual things impact us in every area of our life and they impact the life to come. So studying the Word and becoming grounded in His love will bless you in everything you do here on the earth and when we go home to be with Jesus. Studying the Word to better understand how to be a leader will profit you no matter what you do and it will continue to bless you on the other side. Hallelujah.

Leaders seek to enable people to fulfill their function. As each part supplies we as a church grow. Each member has a God given purpose and when they fulfill it then the Body is blessed. When we start to fulfill our function submitted to Him then we find the joy and satisfaction we long. You were created with purpose and when you step into that purpose it is truly awesome. As we study leadership whether you are called into the fivefold or not I believe this study will help you and equip you.

“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head- Christ- from whom the whole body, joint and knit together by what every joint supplies according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Eph. 4: 15, 16

The, Body grows by each part fulfilling their God given purpose. Please take note of the word, supplies. We are blessed in order to be a blessing.

In order for us to come to the place where we are a blessing we must grow up spiritually. There has to be a maturing of the believer. We must learn emotional stability by walking according to the spirit and not by our emotions and we must walk in integrity. A mature believer has something to give to the Body and no longer taking from the Body.

 

“I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God; that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. Having gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them”

Romans 12: 1-6

We all have a part to play. Some of us to more public roles and obvious leadership, while other to less public positions. Together working as a team led by the Spirit we can bring glory to the Father and expand His kingdom.

“For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were hearing, where would the smelling be? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.”

1 Corinthians 12: 14-19

I wish to make two important points here:

So each believer must find their place in the body (where God has placed them) and begin to function according to the gift(s) given them.

 We must work together as a team, understanding the importance of each member

Several years ago I felt lead by the Lord to seek a manager’s job. I had put aside that dream many years earlier but as I sat in a hotel in South Bend the Lord spoke with me. He told me to go back to school and get my masters so I began to apply for colleges. When the Lord makes a promise it seems so easy and it is easy to get the opinion He plans to do it tomorrow. I started back and at college a few months later and over the next two and half years worked on my masters. During that time I applied for a couple of managers jobs. I was not successful and in fact told by my manager I was not managerial material. But I was persuaded that the Lord had promised and He would fulfill the promise so I keep pressing forward.

I took a class on management and as I did I learned a lot. I had been a very successful sales rep for many years. I discovered that sales reps are people of flawed characters. They are self-serving people with large egos. They are in it for themselves and as they are highly driven they will walk over you if you stand in the way. Well, when you are looking for a powerful rep these characters if tempered produce the perfect rep. But not a great manager. In fact I study a lot on how the worst mistake made by many companies is to promote their best rep to a manager. After all they deserved it. But the things that made them successful as a rep make them terrible as a manager. As I studied and allowed the Lord to speak to me I began to change.

 

Leaders and managers must have a heart for the people. A manager is not focused on himself but the team. Well not long after graduating I applied again for a manager’s job and even though I was the underdog I was ready. I was interviewed initially because I was an internal candidate. I was told that the company was seeking to hire the outside candidate but I was unmoved. I made it to the final round where they had a special stress test. It was deliberately designed and had carefully selected questions. They had found this stress test was a good indicator of a manager and whether or not they would be successful. I scored the highest score achieved in the test and was told I smoked my competition. I was given the regional managers job.

 

Stepping into management was a learning curve and I have learnt a lot about leadership. I wish I knew years ago what I know today. I have a proven record of great success as a manager and I am glad I made the move. I have learnt that my success is as I said my team’s success. I do so much behind the scenes that my reps will never know and generally you never get credit when the rep is successful. They never know how many swords you have fallen on for them and all the hard work in the background to get them what they need. I no longer control my schedule but have to make myself available to my team. Before I could determine where I wanted to go and if I wanted to make a change last minute I could. I made it as convenient to me as possible. Now I find myself getting up at 3:30 am to catch a 6 am flight to arrive home early afternoon to find myself working till late evening.

 

I am there when they are need motivation and help to overcome discouragement. I am there to shout well done when they bring in the order. I am there in the battle when something goes wrong. I am there strategizing and negotiating to get them pricing, discounts, promotions, etc. so they can be successful. I spend hours stuck in airports and on planes. Why? My team.

I am fully invested in their success. I take time with each of them. I travel with them so I can get to know them and see exactly what they face. I give them feedback that I know will help them. As I said most of the time you get no credit or thanks when a rep is successful. They don’t realize what you did for them. I seek to set them up to succeed.

One of the greatest lessons I learned was the importance of forming a trust with the rep. They need to know you have their back and they can trust you. Reps want to know you are in it for them. As a leader we need to be building them up and equipping them. I have always been told I should be training replacement for myself. A good leader I believe builds other and makes them successful and raises up leaders.

Secondly, being available to the reps. Reps need to know they can call and reach you and that you will act on their behalf. They need to know you will come into the trenches and fight with them and for them. They need to know you hear and listen to them. Taking time to hear and listen is a trade mark of a good leader.

 

You need to be a coach, a mentor and at times a director. Most of the times they just need a coach and mentor. I have learned that it is essential to discover what really motivates the rep. I know we all say money. But money is an enabler. It enables us to do something. I need to know what it enables them to do. For example a married rep with young kids may be simply looking to make good money to build a good life for his or her family. To this person PTO is very important. Another rep who is young and single is in it for things. They want money to buy “toys.” I may not agree with what motivates them but it motivates them. My job is to work with them and keep them motivated. I take opportunities to impart wisdom into these reps. It is up to them to receive it. I seek to do this once I have gained their trust. They know I have their best on my heart. I am not in this for me or have some agenda. I am focused on helping them.

 

The church needs role models. Leaders who pour into the next generation. People who are not seeking their agenda or filled with selfish ambition but have a heart for people. Those under them need to know their leader(s) has their best at heart. They need to know they can trust them.

If you study Jesus His initial call was simply to follow. Just travel and watch me. Then He called them to take up their cross. Then they would have to die on the cross. The initial call was to let them see His heart and build trust. Then He revealed if they wanted to go further there was a price to pay. He will carry us so far then He calls us to pay a price. He has already paid it and gone before us. But we too must pay a price if we are to go deeper and further. In this study we will look at a variety of subjects to equip you to be successful as a leader. We will dig into gifts, callings and motivations. We also look at key attributes and skills leaders need. I pray this study encourage, inspire and equip you. Here are some key scriptures to meditate on.

“O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel!”

Jer. 18: 6

He is the potter and we are the clay. We must allow Him to mold us into what He desires.

“But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father, we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and all of us are the work of Thy hand.”

Is. 64: 8

 

God has plans for our life. No matter how far we stray from His perfect plan for our life, he has another plan to get us back on track if we will repent and submit to Him.

“For I know the plans that I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”

Jer. 29: 10

Just like we must grow up physically and mentally, so too we must grow up spiritually. We submit to the process which will develop us and mature us. Then we must be prepared to work and put effort into developing our potential.

“For a dream comes through much effort.”

Eccl. 5: 3

 

 

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