Be Strong and Courageous
You hear it said, “Everyone is a leader.” What you hear is validation of worth that people want. You are a leader. You are important. You are followed. You have Facebook, twitter, social media, followers. Few lead. Managing someone else’s conviction doesn’t make you a leader. You are a manager and there is nothing wrong with that. You are important. You are being followed.
Leaders have the courage of conviction to disturb the present to create a different future for the progress of humanity.
Be strong and courageous – Read the leadership books. Get stronger in the techniques of leadership books. The authors give wonderful techniques that can enhance both leadership and management of other’s leadership. To develop your leadership you need to increase the depth of understanding and reading books that challenge you are helpful. It is not helpful to simply read self-help, everyone’s a leader, you can do it, books that simply convey value and positive thoughts. Do the work of learning.
Be strong and courageous – Practice the art of leadership. “You grow from experience, only if you experience the experience.” Trying new means and measures of service allow you to determine goals and practice along the way of achievement. If you lead this office, church, appointment, the same way you led the last three then you are likely asking those you lead today to behave the way those you have led before. This is management based upon past experience. This is a bad, unfortunate, and too often irrelevant, management practice. Practice the art of leadership by practicing the techniques learned, recording the lessons (experience it), and develop strategies to improve. For example, when I arrived at Sarasota Area Command I quickly spoke with the challenging language of Harvard and the confidence gained in New Orleans. I, from frustration, quickly realized I did not have the power to lead with either. Therefore for 18 months I developed soft power. It is only now at 24 months that I can lead with the challenging language and confidence I prefer. I purposely used the time to manage the aged processes of the command and research solution based approaches to the social ills of the community. Practice and learn. Practice and learn. Record how what you learned while you practice. (I would be pleased to share our recording processes if you would like.)
Be strong and courageous Lead with the courage of conviction. Leading with the courage of conviction is an absolute expression of faith. Leadership is not about importance, worth, or achievement. It is important to acknowledge the dangers of leadership upon oneself, marriage, and families. Leadership is about the courage to lead because you are convicted to lead. Your life will not accept the less you experience. Your heart will not express the hurt of the same. Your mind will not find peace in not acting. Leadership is a calling different from management and requires leaders. Might I suggest in The Salvation Army, an “Elite Officer”?
The leadership required today is leadership of social justice. It is time to stop managing poverty. It is time to stop managing homelessness. It is time to stop managing individual consumerism. It is past time to stop generational crisis within families. Stop blaming the impoverished for being priced out of communities through gentrification. Stop ignoring the fact that we can buy $4 t-shirts because a 12 year old can sew so well. In Sarasota there is a challenge of leadership. Sarasota is an epicenter of income inequality that creates tremendous housing burdens. It is time to stop trying to manage homelessness and follow the policies of the policy and state that ensure housing options. It is time to acknowledge that parents that are housing burdened do not have the resources to invest in their children’s education. This is not by “fault”, this becomes a social injustice as the system itself decreases the likelihood of social mobility. DECREASES THE LIKELIHOOD OF SOCIAL MOBILITY. These are social justice issues.
If you are not going to change tomorrow then don’t complain tomorrow because you are experiencing the same problems of today. If you manage the problems then own them. If you are called to leadership then be strong and courageous and lead.
The world is full of leadership programs, but the best way to learn how to lead might be right under your nose. In this clear, candid talk, Roselinde Torres describes 25 years observing truly great leaders at work, and shares the three simple but crucial questions would-be company chiefs need to ask to thrive in the future.
It is my intent that this blog series include original thought, links to reliable research, and create a platform for public dialogues. Please share your thoughts and comments. Know that it would be my pleasure to assist you with innovative program design for collective impact.
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