I am more convinced than ever. In my recent travels to India, I was reminded again how much leadership matters. As we traveled through the cities of Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Bangalore, I asked, “Why is there so much poverty?” “Why so many buildings started, but never finished?” Where is the infrastructure for the cities? Why is the transit system still not complete?
Every time the answer was, “Our leaders; bribes and corruption are the trademarks of our government and even some churches.” Leaders who only want to line their pockets and leave the people to survive any way they can have brought ruin to their communities and despair to the people they were to serve.
I am convinced that under the umbrella of leadership rests our world and everything in it. As surely as leadership matters, what matters most in the leader is his or her heart. I am certain no home, church, organization, community, or country can grow past the heart of its leader. Where leaders are serving, people reflect a sense of value to others, attitudes are positive, excellence is understood as the best way to serve and relationships are growing and prospering.
However, on the contrary, when leadership is bad, the stench of unrest, competition, hoarding information, and everyone looking out for themselves becomes the hallmark for those following. The leader not only sets the vision, but how the vision will be accomplished. He or she also sets the tone, the values, and the behavior for those who follow.
I am convinced, as a follower of Jesus, my most important job as a leader is to reflect my Leader in all I am to do. As I was gathering my bag to exit a plane, a passenger across the aisle saw my Lead Like Jesus luggage tag and said to his little boy of about eight, “Look, son, she knows somebody you know.” Wouldn’t it be amazing if people could recognize us as leaders who follow Jesus even with no tags at all? Will people recognize us because we are following our leader?
Written by Phyllis H. Hendry