Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Taught Leadership: Where does it begin?

A true leader is one who, "must manage his own family well...in a manner worthy of full respect" (1 Tim. 3:4). If leadership is partially taught, as I had mentioned in my previous post, then one must come to understand how leadership is taught. I would suggest that a sound example from within the core of a persons life is the primary means by which leadership is taught.
A father/husband, by default, then becomes the primary influence in ones life. The father is the "head of the household, just as Christ is head of the church" (Eph. 5:23). It is fathers who are responsible to teach us, direct us and prepare us for the life that lies ahead. Just as Christ has provided this example and instruction for us, it is our responsibility as leaders/fathers to provide the primary example of how to live and lead. This is not to detract from the importance of mothers/wives in any way. Children must observe the examples of leadership in the home if they are to understand it and apply it to their own lives. This has never been more evident than it is today, especially with the rising number of fatherless homes. The question then becomes, as father/Husbands, leaders and for mothers/wives, how do we teach our children, how do we train them and raise them in a way that allows for them to be a leader in their own life and "manage their own family well?"
A few suggestions. First, you may be the only Bible some people ever read. Your children, those who follow you as a leader, will follow your examples. Your examples therefore, should inspire obedience. As a leader we are to be obedient to our superiors and most importantly to God. Christ modeled this for us in His obedience to His Father. Second, be an encourager. Don't hold those behind you or under you back, encourage them to succeed. Encourage them, lift them up, and provide them with every opportunity to get ahead and succeed. Finally, the best way that leadership is taught is through "Servant Leadership." This is the form of leadership that Christ modeled for us. He showed us that to be a leader we must first be a servant. We show others that we care, we encourage, we lift them up when we serve them. There is no better place where this can be exemplified than in the home. Our children see all that we do and they will, at some point, repeat that. What we do as leaders in the home provides an example for them, that when needed they will fall back on. We, as leaders (especially in the home), must remember that servant leadership is a daily task. This is not a once and done lesson. This is an act of livelihood.
Leadership begins in the home. If you are not providing an example of leadership in your home then those in your home will find it elsewhere. Strong leadership comes from strong families. Strong families have strong relationships and provide sound examples. If we are to be true leaders that will influence and train the next generation of leaders, we must manage our own house well and "train up our children in the way they should go" then they "will not easily depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). This is how and where leadership is/should be taught.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Caught or Taught

Caught  or Taught?
This is a question that is often asked about leadership. Is it something that we are born with (caught) or is it something that we develop through our years (taught)? As you may well imagine, the opinions here often vary and take one side or the other. However, could be suggest that these views are more opposite sides of the same coin rather than opposing opinions.. There are those who choose to sit on the fence of this discussion and lean to neither side. They simply answer "yes" when asked is leadership caught or taught. I would have to say that I am one of them. Allow me to explain.
First, I think we could all easily agree that some are more predisposed to leadership than others. I seen both the young and the old alike step up to the leadership plate and humbly bear its responsibility as if it were second nature to them. However, there are likewise those who choose to run from it as well. Those who seem more predisposed would be those to whom leadership comes naturally, its caught.
Second, think back to the days of youth sports. Of the kids who were on your team, you likely could easily identify those who were the team leaders. The coaches likely saw this, and with any luck helped to foster and develop this ability. Being put in a position of team captain, or something similar, in youth sports not only helped to identify a natural talent, but also helped to develop it. It helped you to learn the nature and complexities of leadership; it was taught.
At the end of the day, there are those who people naturally look to as leaders. Yes, it may be a "caught" ability for them, but it is highly unlikely that the ability has not been developed, or taught, over the years. This is a debate that cannot, not should not, be looked at as an "either/or" option, but as a "both/and" opportunity.
Good leaders realize their talent and develop it. That is one of the hallmarks of good    leadership. Quality leadership must be developed, even if it does come naturally for some.
The answer, therefore, is that leadership is both caught and taught. A more detailed question for a later discussion is whether it can be simply one or the other or if it must be both to achieve the highest quality of leadership.