LQW: Is Everyone a Leader?

Here is the 2nd installment of “Leadership Question of the Week.” I have been asked many times if I believe that anyone can become a leader? I see organizations that seem to live out this philosophy-that all who will, can become leaders. I have sat under teaching that clearly stated that only certain ones are suited or chosen to be leaders. Some will refer to leadership as a unique spiritual gift. What do you think? Comment below and add to the conversation.

6 responses to “LQW: Is Everyone a Leader?

  1. Great question! I guess it depends on what a person means by leadership. In our ministry (Cru) any staff or intern (or student for that matter) who has started a Bible study and is sharing his/her faith is leading other spiritually. So one could make the case that all field staff need to grow in leadership because that is what they are doing – leading others spiritually. But they may not ever hold a formal organizational leadership position or have the gift of leadership. So perhaps I would say, all believers should aspire to lead other spiritually and grow in leadership capacity, but not should aspire to organizational leadership or expect to have the gift of leadership.

    • Pete-great thoughts and I like your delineation. I think you are on the mark. When it comes to leadership I think there is a difference between influence and responsibility (hope to post thoughts on this soon). I think all believers can and should have/exert influence-and therefore deserve development on how to sharpen that influence. Others will take organizational titles and bear true organizational responsibility. Those people should be chosen carefully and given appropriate development. I actually think within Cru we are better at the former than the latter-we are making strides, but can do better with ongoing development of those who have organizational titles that bear responsibility beyond influence.

  2. Anyone can become a leader if they are able to inspire their followers. To do this, they must establish trust & credibility, communicate effectively, employ empathy and intimately know their people’s capabilities and move them into postions to be most successful. I think anybody who aspires to put these things into action can be a leader, over time, practice, failure and learn throught thier faults and mistakes.

    • Great thoughts Dale and thanks for your comments. I really like your four fold principles for seeing people lead well. You well make note too that trying, failing and learning are key ingredients. Well said!

  3. One thing I will add: Great leaders allow their people to fail without giving them the impression that they are failures. I think that mistakes and failure, to some degree, is a teaching moment. The “after action” of someone’s failure becomes key. The leader then becomes mentor and coach.

  4. Dale-thanks or the additional comments-I completely agree.

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