By Niresia Jacintah – a commentator on religious issues
Themes about leadership have been covered in acres of spaces, especially in the current times. However, the question remains: what is leadership? Surely, there is a lexicon of descriptions that befit leadership. I see leadership as an opportunity to use one’s skills and abilities to bring change. Leadership however, requires commitment and sacrifices thus making a big number of people view it as an overly difficult task. It may be difficult as they think but it is very vital – with bad leadership we go nowhere. However, with good leadership, were destined for better prospects since the sky is the limit. Leadership is the ability to inspire other people to dream more, become more and do more. It is also the ability to take people from where they are to where they need to be. So as a leader, there is an urgent need to have a vision: leaders should always see ahead. If as a leader you’ll take people to where they need to be, you also need to be able to influence, or better still, mobilize them. All this, sums up to having people’s best interests at heart. A transformative leader has a definitive character, competence, and connection. Character is about defining one’s values, boundaries and living or abiding by them. It can be interchanged with integrity because integrity commits itself to character than other earthly things. Character commits itself to service more than power. Character is a process; it is formulated over time. It is also informed by things such as relationships; a relationship with God and with people. A relationship with God informs all aspects of life. With people, bad company ruins good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33). It is important to have healthy relationships with people. Essentially, such a relationship should positively impact on others. It is also important to note that character is not about being perfect.
Competence dictates that leaders need to keep developing their skills. Lethargy and sluggish mentalities are alien words within the formulation of a desirable mode of leadership. Henceforth, and through competence, leaders acquire the ability to do things in the right manner, when to do it, and how to do it. Leaders need to sharpen and improve their skills because they competency doesn’t just happen. One way to develop their skills is by reading widely. Successful leaders are learners. Reading will not only enable them to sit with mentors, travel to places, rethink and unwind but also understand other people and themselves. A leader has to know and feel the pain of the people (2 Samuel 24:17). One cannot fake connection, it has to be real. So it is advisable for a leader to develop a relationship with the people, enabling a real sense of concern. Among the reasons that make many people find leadership to be hard is the fact that as a leader one has too many responsibilities. However, that doesn’t mean that they have to die with all the weight of responsibilities. Do they? No! I love the advice Jethro gave to Moses (Exodus 18:14-27) about the role of delegation. As a leader, delegation plays a huge part in entrenching what God has set out – Get people around you and empower them. Share the goal with them for their commitment. Also, do continuous evaluation with them. However, be cautious in that over -delegation breeds negligence.
Apart from the many responsibilities that come with leadership, there will always be people who aim at hindering the leader. Such a breed will always be hell bent on curtailing that which the leader has set up as a transformative path. Injurious outcomes can propagate a negative effect if such personalities are not stopped from the destructive approach. For such kind of people, we do confrontation like Paul did with Peter in the Bible (Galatians 2:11-13). There are certain things to do in regards to confrontation; pray about it, clarify your motives, act quickly, confront only what someone can change, give people the benefit of doubt, be specific in what you confront, avoid sarcasm and don’t apologize for the confrontation. It is also important to note that it is possible to be confronted by the people you’re leading. Lastly, trust God to guide and give you the strength to lead in your various capacities. Remember, He chose you! To achieve the hallmarks of leadership, we should always commit our plans to God. It would be a worthless task to take a sojourn that intends to craft competent leadership without God’s help. As a result, practicing the relevant values and aspects that call for God’s affection makes us acquire competency, character and connection, for the purposes of leadership. Affection for God forms a pillar that enhances these aspects of 3Cs (competence, character, and connection) within the scope of implanting leadership.