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| Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Follow the Leader.
Big Sky, Montana is one of my family’s favorite vacation spots – there’s always plenty of snow, plenty of adventure and plenty of fun for the whole family. During our last trip this past year, I had some thoughts on leadership that I thought I’d share here on the blog. The question I kept finding myself asking was this:
What’s more important: leading, or how you lead?
On the slopes, my son-in-law, Trent, was often out in front. He’s a talented skier, but he’s also a very “learned” skier, meaning that he always studies the maps, researches the slopes, and he always, always has his backpack loaded with essentials for skiing… Like First Aid supplies, hand warmers and of, course snacks for the lift ride up. Trent is a great leader on the slopes. He is always sensitive to the abilities of those around him, and he keeps us going at a good pace so that everyone has a great time. He never gets too far out in front, but he does keep us moving in the right direction at a good pace.
But the most impressive thing to me is not how fast he can ski, or how good he is when he is out there on his own; I am most impressed with the fact that his focus is not on how fast and how far he can go, rather he is most concerned with the people he is leading.
Now that’s a leader I can get behind, and one that I want to follow to the next slope. Watching Trent on the slopes helped me discover the answer to the question I kept asking myself. The most important part of leadership is not that you lead; it’s how you lead.
A leader must know who is following, be aware of their needs, build trust, encourage them, build their confidence, pick them up when they fall and help them get better all along the way. Trent is a great example of this, but there’s another Leader who showed us this truth, too. Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” He doesn't just say, "follow me," He promises to make something with our lives when we do.
I get excited about following that kind of Leader. How about you?
What kind of leader will you be today? I hope these short examples will help you answer that question.
Have a great day, everybody!