At Mosaic we seek to reach people and raise up leaders. Our staff mentoring process remains a big part of our efforts in equipping people to make a difference.
Seth Godin’s book Tribes is a nice little read filled with helpful insights. He writes:
“Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead.
It’s uncomfortable to stand up in front of strangers.
It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail.
It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.
It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.
When you identify the discomfort, you’ve found the place where a leader is needed.
If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not reaching your potential as a leader.”
(For my notes on Godin’s book Tribes, send an email to me at email@example.com with “Tribes Notes” as the subject.)
For those of you willing to serve others by leading – thanks!
Listen, perhaps it’s time we stop worshiping leadership in the church and in our national culture. When I was a child I often heard my elders lament, “There’s too many chiefs and not enough Indians” when groups of people argued over vision casting. It seems to me like too many people want to be leaders even though they don’t have the disposition. Then there are souls like myself who reluctantly yielded to church pressure to jump into leadership when we have neither the desire nor the native skills to lead. I love to support effective genuine leaders and I live to offer creativity, but flag waving and leading others is something I only do when absolutely necessary. There are many like me. One does not need to be a leader to stand in front of strangers, propose an idea that might fail, challenge the status quo, or resist the urge to settle. So please, dispense with the leadership-fits-all messages that are growing weary to many ears. Call us mentors, scribes, artists, students, musicians, apprentices, techies, geeks…anything but leaders.
Thanks for your comment, GW!
I think you may have misunderstood my post. I was actually thanking those who do lead and not asking everyone to lead.
At the same time, if leadership can be summed up by influence, then some of the most important leaders may never be known by the crowds – parents, counselors, nurses, teachers, and so on.
Hope that helps!
I also think it’s important to remember that leadership does not come from position. Leaders aren’t necessarily the people who stand in front of others but can also be the ones to empower others to stand in front of strangers. If the essence of leadership is service for others, then leadership is less about telling others what to do and more about calling out the best in others and empowering people to achieve their potential when they thought they had none. Isn’t that what Jesus did?
People don’t have to charisma to lead though that’s what stops people from championing a cause or movement. But actually leading others gives people the charisma. Look at people at http://www.cnn.com/heroes they are very ordinary group of people, leading very extra ordinary causes. As these people begin leading others, their movements eventually become bigger than themselves, creating a following.