What is “being a leader” anyway?

I just spent an amazing day (1 of 2) at Community Christian Church, with my coworkers, attending a satellite session of Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit 2008.

To say my brain is full would be a huge understatement. Pastor Dave posted a summary of the speakers today on his blog, >>Velocity.

What does it mean to be a leader? I told a friend (and coworker) today that I didn’t really WANT to be a leader. I must have surprised her, based on the look on her face, and the “Why not?” I got in response. I answered that I didn’t really want the responsibility that comes with being a leader. I think that’s partly true. It can be a burdensome thing.

However, I am still faced with the fact that quite a few people in my life have told me that I am either meant to be a leader, or already am one. So, what is that supposed to mean? Is it good to be a leader? What if you don’t want to be? Is it a calling? Is it something you can say “no” to? Thinking through Bible stories, I can recall more than one person that God called that initially said “No thanks!”, but ended up being drafted by God anyway… So, if that’s the case, do I have a choice?

And #2 – leader of what? A rebellion? An alliance? (Too much Star Wars in my brain?) What if you don’t feel that you have anything/anyone to lead?

The most common characteristic that I saw today, overwhelmingly, was passion. Each speaker that we heard seemed to have a real passion for something – some mission, some injustice that needed to be righted, some thing that brought fire, and even tears, to their eyes. I think, in order to be a real, true, genuinely successful leader, you have to have that something. Or that some One.

To be continued…

4 thoughts on “What is “being a leader” anyway?

  1. It was a great conference filled with great takehomes. You were right today when you mentioned that with leadership comes much responsibility. That is a scary part. Today one thing I took home as well, was that I can be the best leader of MYSELF that there is. I need to understand the best way to lead myself, make my own decisions (and understand that process), as well as develop my own life proverbs. That really got me thinking. God is funny about leadership. He always calls me out in this one thing: its not the resources I may not have that He is concerned about. He says, “Give me what you have”! (Like the many people he fed with the fish and bread.) He always humbles me in that way. It’s all about Him!

  2. Lundie,

    I loved reading your thoughts on Day 1. It’s always refreshing and encouraging to hear people’s
    thoughts and heart on the things they’re chewing on. There are a lot of outlines out there, and you
    put a really meaningful, thoughtful spin on your experiences. Looking forward to reading more!

  3. I’m about to go through a Leadership training for my job. It’s ironic that I’m reading your notes from your leadership conference because I signed up to do this training for purely selfish reasons. But like you, I’ve been told I’d be a good leader (up in the air). Maybe there is more to this than my own selfish gain. Maybe God can use me in this position to minister to my co-workers?! Thanks for sharing your thoughts so openly and honestly Lundie.

  4. Going off what Sara said…it is “All about God”. The work is His and when the task seems hopeless, we need to re-center the basis of our hope. He also said that the task might be scarey. Jesus did not come to make us safe, but to be brave. We (I) get so caught up in being comfortable that I could be missing out on an adventure. How sad is that. God might have so much more for us a leaders, but we just don’t want to take that step of faith. I know a lot of it for me, and I shared this with you at lunch, is that I need to have “it” back. No one will want to follow me unless I am in tune with God and aligning my Passion and his will for my life.
    Wendy Kopp said that “every good leader has a burning in their heart”. What is your burning Lundie? What is your Passion? What makes your heart beat fast? I think you are a great leader! 🙂 You lead me at work everyday…with your organization and knowledge of numbers. Just adding my $0.02.

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