The Heart of the Leader

I have been reading Dale Burke’s excellent book, Less is More Leadership. He begins by emphasizing the heart of a leader. He states, “Great organizations are built on great leadership. Great leadership requires great leaders. And great leaders are gleaned from the fields of good people-men and women of moral character, strength, and conviction.” He argues that the heart of the person called to lead must be comprised of two essential elements–spirituality and humility. Today we will look briefly at some of Burke’s thoughts on spirituality. Burke says, ” . . . spirituality-the power of convictions-stabilizes the leader at the core of life, strengthening character and providing the moral guidance so necessary for great leadership in the 21st century world . . .”

He goes on to say, “Spirituality is the hub of life and leadership. It answers the following:
Whose voice is important when everyone has a different opinion?
What values should never be abandoned when others are willing to bend the rules or rewrite them?
Which vision is worth pursuing when we can’t do everything?
What are the vital relationships, the people who really matter most?”

Burke raises four critical components of spirituality that leaders can neglect over time–to their demise: voice, values, vision, and vital relationships. For the Christ-centered leader the God of the universe revealed in Jesus Christ is the starting point for all four components. It is His voice that we must attend to first. His values revealed in Scripture must be our foundation. His vision for His kingdom must dominate our futuristic thinking. And He is the most vital relationship we can ever chase–and must do so daily.

Burke suggests that taking aim at true spirituality will “simplify the life of the leader by focusing on fewer people to please, a few core values to protect, and a clear vision to pursue.”

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