In a world searching for authenticity, the term “leadership” always takes center stage. How does this really work? What does it really mean to be an authentic leader? In his book, Of the Imitation of Christ, Thomas á Kempis imparted the essence of this when, based upon a reflection he made from a 15th century monastery, he penned:
The highest and most profitable learning is true knowledge and understanding of oneself.
We are a needy people, desperate for strong leadership and constantly in search of those who are called by God into the role of leader. It is important to understand how that calling occurs, and what true, authentic leadership looks like.
When I speak on authentic leadership, I discuss three critical elements: God’s calling, his equipping, and the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to lead. Our clearest example of this is the description of David found in Psalm 78:
And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
What we then must do as part of Kingdom Leadership is to first and foremost understand who we are—“how we are wired.” Based upon that, we discover how we are called to lead. Paul Stanley of The Navigators said, “Leadership can be defined as the process of influencing the collective actions of others to accomplish God’s purposes.”
My challenge to you is this: Seek to understand the plan God has for you. To be called by God, as David was, and to lead others in the Kingdom, is a noble calling. The first step in assuming this calling requires that you understand who you are and to articulate this understanding in a Personal Credo (a philosophy of one’s leadership intent). This will be done for self-edification, as well as for encouragement and the strengthening of the body of Christ. In a clear message you, as an authentic leader, will proclaim God’s calling and reveal how that looks in both action and deed.
When God’s people recognize you as a leader, the energy and efficacy of the Holy Spirit will be manifest through you and into the Kingdom of God.
My Definition of Leadership (God ordained and biblically based)
My Personal Values
My Expectations (both of you and for me)
My Priorities / Passions
My Idiosyncrasies (hot buttons)
My Commitment to Lead—Authentically