Wisdom Workout

Day 6 of 7 • This day’s reading


I believe that leadership is the ability to influence. It is often mistaken as a designation or a title. If you are in a position of influence, you have the potential to practice leadership. While some individuals have the opportunities to lead teams, there are those who don't have that responsibility but are meant to support, encourage and assist the said leaders. In no way are they inferior to those who have the task of leadership. I also believe that if you cannot consistently work at leading yourself, you are not in a position to lead others. We all consciously or unconsciously want to manage others but management begins with managing oneself.

If you are waiting to be a leader, Wait. Your time will come. There is no point in being impatient and impulsive because you will end up doing things that you will regret. While you are waiting, learn. It is important that your waiting period is used efficiently and effectively. There is purpose in your waiting. Most often the purpose is to learn the lessons that you need to learn while waiting by observing, reading and relating. Pick up these valuable lessons on leadership so that when you are formally given the position to lead others you can put all these lessons into practice.

Gather leadership lessons by choosing to be mentored. There is no better learning method than by being mentored by someone who has already walked the path that you currently tread on. They will not just speak out of theory but actual life experience. This transfer of wisdom will stand you in good stead when you are in a position of leadership.

Remember that unless you are a good follower you cannot be a good leader. That is a time-tested fact. It is critical that you follow the right person. Who you choose to follow will determine your destiny. A prerequisite to following is to carry out instruction. Another meaning of following is obeying. If you are unable to follow instructions given it would be hard to be a follower.

Following involves first unlearning before learning. We all have a lot of life experiences which can deter us from moving forward in our pursuit of leadership. They can cause beliefs that could be detrimental to our progress. Another important principle for a follower is being unafraid to ask questions. It's important to clarify and sometimes even to disagree but disagreement handled the wrong way can lead to rebellion. Rebellion is a big no-no. Rebellion will start manifesting in actions and attitudes which therefore have to be kept in check.

It is important to be vulnerable in order to be a great follower. Be yourself to those who you choose to be led by. If you decide to pretend to be someone else, it will not benefit you even if you are led by the right people. It is important that your leader is aware of your strengths and more importantly your weaknesses. That knowledge is very important for the leader to effectively guide and train you.

Humility and being submissive to the leader are pre requisites of a follower. Pride has got no place. Submission is a trait of great leadership and is birthed from being a great follower. Stay humble as that's the vital ingredient to excellent leadership.

Things to Consider:

1. As a leader in your area of influence, do you have a vision? Write down your vision statement.

2. The reason we are endowed with gifts and talents is not so that we exhibit superiority, or flaunt our ability but to serve one another as faithful stewards. What are the gifts you have and how can you use your gifts to serve others?