Whenever I think of leadership, I am not thinking about the position, I am thinking about the person. In reality, I am thinking about you.
We may never lead thousands, hundreds or even tens of people in our lives, and that's alright. In fact most of never will and we don't start there either. We start by leading ourself. After all, no one wants to be led by you, if when they look at you, they are not convinced at the job you are doing at leading yourself.
My heart is to help raise and resource leaders. To help young leaders especially grasp a greater understanding of what it means to lead. The privilege. The joy. The frustrations. The responsibility. The loneliness. The journey. The becoming. The layers. The reality. The honesty. The success. The failure. The never-ending learning life of a leader.
Leading well in life sets you up. Not necessarily for greatness, in the sense of having your name in lights, being recognised in the streets or other measures of fame. Leading well in life sets you up for success in different ways.
In the ordinariness of consistently making the right choices, you discover the opportunity to lead.
What we may despise as small and insignificant, others will respect and consider noteworthy.
If we can learn to lead well in life then we are better placed to lead and influence others wherever we may find ourselves.
If we can learn to lead well in life then we will recognise that where we are is the right place for us to be, the place where God wants us to be.
If we can learn to lead well in life then we will learn to never dismiss the opportunities which are right in front of us. We don't take them based on size or outcome, we take them because we can.
If we can learn to lead well in life we will become the people of God who can discover the spiritual in the ordinary, every day aspects of life.
If we can learn to lead well in life then we position ourselves to be people who God can use to build His kingdom and make a difference for Him.
I am writing this as I approach my 50th birthday. [Just as an aside, I am still not sure how this has happened. When I was 19 and given my first leadership opportunity, people who were 50 were ancient. It was so far away and to my youthful, young, upstart self, they were just old. Now I am there, and know it's not old, at least not to me].
In 30+ years of leading, the person I have had the most trouble leading, is me. Leading myself well isn't just a challenge when the team gets together or when I am working on the certain project at hand. The challenge isn't when I'm on the platform, speaking, leading a discussion or teaching young leaders. Most of the challenges in leading myself well are when no one is watching. In the smallest of decisions. In the thinking in my head. In what gets my attention. In how I approach each day. In staying focused on a task. In speaking well of others. In not always thinking that I am right, even though I might be.
Over the next few blog posts, lets unpack some key areas in our lives where we need to lead well. My desire is to make it more of a conversation, plus others in my world will be contributing too, so keep an eye out for them ~ on here and across The 19 Project social media. Let's not think too much about how these are relevant for everyone else, that's too easy, instead start with you. At the same time, I will start with me. We can learn some more about ourselves, together.
Say this with me:
My leadership doesn't begin with my position or title, my leadership begins with me. The failings in my leadership are not because of other people, they are very much to do with me. I am committed to leading well. I am committed to starting with me. I am committed to leading myself well, in the knowledge that in leading myself well, I become a better leader of others.
Here's some of the places we may stop at along the way, taking time to focus as we head out on the journey of wanting to lead well. [And not necessarily in this order].
Lead well: in the every day
Lead well: start right
Lead well: plans & purpose
Lead well: work on your character
Lead well: let love be seen
Lead well: win people, not problems
Lead well: fight for the right things
Lead well: repair your integrity
Lead well: good company
Lead well: think things through
Lead well: being productive
Lead well: gaining wisdom
Lead well: the right kind of wholeness
Lead well: repentance & forgiveness
Are there any other areas you think we should be talking about which will help us to lead ourselves well?