Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

The Cost of Leadership

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When people are thrust into a leadership position, they are sometimes surprised by the expectations. Leaders are viewed differently than everyone else. This is evident each time there is a presidential election. The candidates are grilled. Their backgrounds are checked, rechecked, and checked again. Minor missteps are made front page news and dissected on 24 hour news channels. It doesn’t matter that much of the rest of America has made the same mistakes, these are supposed to be our leaders and they are looked at from a different perspective. Some people have thick skin and are not bothered by the expectations of leadership, but most people are sensitive to these issues and are caught off guard when it happens. If you are in leadership or thinking about accepting a leadership position, then you need to be aware of the cost of leadership.

Leaders Must Be Ready to Make Sacrifices – People will judge leaders differently than they judge themselves or others. Is this right? No. Is it worth arguing over? No. There is nothing leaders can do about this. It is just the way it is. People will pay attention to where you go, what you do, who you hang around with, what you wear, and what you say. There will be times when you will need to speak out against a certain judgment, but for the most part this behavior should be accepted as part of the occupation. Becoming a leader involves putting yourself out in front of everyone. It means you become an easy target. It means people will pay more attention to your Facebook and Twitter accounts than they do the accounts of others. Even though you should accept much of this, there still needs to be boundaries. I draw a line when people begin to hold my children to the same high standards they hold me to. That is going too far and I will not allow it. When you become a leader be ready to make certain sacrifices, but also understand you have a responsibility to protect your family.

Leaders Must Be Spiritually Mature – No leader is perfect. Leaders are just as fallible and prone to make mistakes as anyone else. Even so, leaders must be prepared for the difficulties of leadership. Leaders will find themselves in difficult situations. They will encounter and have to deal with people who are emotionally or spiritually immature. A leader is not expected to always give the right answer or advice, but they are expected to be spiritually mature.  If someone comes to you and they are angry or upset, then it is essential that you remain calm. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, it is important that you do not do anything to make it worse. Leaders must work on becoming emotionally and spiritually mature individuals. This means leaders must continually examine themselves. It means leaders need to be practicing spiritual disciplines on a regular basis. If you are going to help someone with a spiritual issue, then you must know something about spirituality. If you are going to speak about prayer, fasting, study, or meditation, then you need to have practiced these disciplines. You must be ready to share your experiences with those who need help, and you must be prepared for the attacks the enemy will send your way.

Leaders Must Lead By Example – There will be times when a leader will need to delegate certain duties, but a leader must be willing to get his or her hands dirty. Jesus led by example. The greatest example of this is found in John 13, where Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. People respond better to example than they do being told. If you do not lead by example, then you will not be a successful leader. Leading means that you go first. It means that you set an example for others to follow. Leading is more about serving than it is about power or prestige. A leader must not be puffed up. A leader must not have grandiose ideas about himself or herself. A leader must be humble and ready to do what is best for the community. There is no room for selfishness when being a leader. A leader must submit themselves to Jesus and follow in his footsteps, so others will know the way.

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