Great leaders bring the best out of us not the worst. These leaders have a vision that awakens them to possibilities other have thought impossible or are unwilling to try. When they share that vision with us we are challenged to stretch and take risks for the good of one another and the generations to follow.
The risks have deep meaning to us. Perhaps we are thinking of our children and grandchildren’s future, maybe it is to achieve greatness or provide resources for others, sometimes it is the adventure because life has become just too comfortable and predictable. Think of Moses and the Hebrews crossing the Red Sea to go to the Promised Land. It would not happen without his commitment to God. Think of Christ’s call to take up our cross and follow Him, it would not happen without His Cross. Greatness always has risk associated with it.
However, ignoring evil and doing nothing about it has its guarenteed risks as well. When President Bush identified the “axis of evil” as Iran, Iraq and North Korea. It was his call to stop thinking evil couldn’t touch you if you ignored it or appeased it. Ask Neville Chamberlain.
Shallow leaders are not visionaries rather they make promises that do not require personal sacrifice. They promise us glory without sacrifice, profit with out cost and someone else will pay the bill not you. Think Mexico or Wall Street. Often they demonize those who disagree with them. Above all they will not make a personal sacrifice. It’s a mistake to fail to recognize them as a leader. After all there are people that will believe and follow them.
A great leader, like Washington, will put their fame, fortune, and life on the line for the people and cause they believe in and love. Their example is inspiring to others. They find strength in their faith. They are encouraged by friends who hold their hands up in prayer and shoulder the burden of leadership. Today we are still the beneficiaries of those who had the vision for this Republic!
Great leaders do not seek to punish those who disagree with them or fail. They seek to persuade and restore and say “Walk with me. Let’s do this together.” It was Abraham Lincoln’s vision to restore the North and South into one nation. His vision was to not punish the Southern States who had seceded from the Union but to heal and forgive. How different history would have been if it was not for the anger and vindictiveness in John Wilkes Booth’s heart.
It is one more reason that Jesus Christ remains the greatest of leaders. He gave us a vision of peace, love and joy. He sacrificed His life to remove our sin making possible this kingdom vision. He tried to persuade a materialistic young ruler to follow him, resisted the cry of the mob to make him a king by force, and restored an apostle who failed him. He didn’t boast of his achievements. He kept the promises he made and continues to do so today. He truly takes away the sin, weaknesses and failures of our lives, makes us more than conquerors and gives us an abundant life.
He remains the Leader of leaders, King of kings, Lord of lords and always brings out the best in us!
What leadership qualities are you looking for in a President?
Have you decided who to vote for in November? What qualities, issues or ideas influenced your decision?
What kind of a leader do you want to be? All of us have leadership influence (someone follows our lead i.e. children, friends, co-workers, etc).
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