Leadership is a BIG word. A scary word.
It’s one of those words that we just don’t feel like we have a right to claim because “wouldn’t that be showing off? Playing big? Acting like I’m something I’m not?”
It took me a long, long time to believe that I was a leader. It took the coaxing and cajoling of a good mentor to convince me that I was, indeed, a leader, and I had not only a calling but a responsibility to lead. Even then (and even now) I often let myself slip into old stories that tell me that “I don’t have any influence. People won’t take me seriously. I’m not a leader. Leaders are smarter than me.”
I think one of the biggest problems we face in our culture is that so few of us accept the mantle of leadership. (And yes, I’m pointing that finger in my direction too.) We’re all looking for someone else to lead us. Because leadership takes guts. And determination. And more self-confidence than we feel we can muster. And it means getting our hands dirty.
We accept what’s happening in our communities because “well, it’s not up to ME. It’s someone else’s problem.” We let people go hungry in our neighbourhoods because “isn’t that something that should be handled by the social services in our cities? I don’t know how to change things.” We accept the bad decisions of our politicians because “it wasn’t ME who was elected to parliament – I don’t know how to convince people that the things they’re doing aren’t right.” We sit back and grumble and complain about the way businesses are raping and pillaging our earth because, well, “what difference would it make if I said anything about it? it’s just little ol’ me. I’m not a leader.”
Time’s up people.
We’re wasting our time waiting for someone else to step into the role. The earth and all of her people don’t have time for us to sit around playing small and waiting for a saviour to show up.
WE are the leaders we seek.
WE are the ones who’ve been called to lead transformative change.
WE are the ones God has equipped with the skills to make a difference for the world.
WE are the ones who have influence, even if it’s just with the other soccer moms in your neighbourhood.
Stop trying to pretend otherwise. Stop letting the gremlins win.
Stop thinking that leaders are only those with the right expertise, wisdom, self-confidence, influence, platform, credentials… fill in the blanks.
Even if the only way you know how to lead is to model a new way of living, YOU are a leader.
Go out there and lead.