The Landscape of Leadership Pt. 1

What does your leadership landscape look like?

Is it covered in brown grass with patches, thorny bushes, and in need of trimming?; or is it covered in bright red roses, beautiful green grass, and firmly planted trees?

The landscape of our leadership represents the people who we are leading. I’ve learned that compassionate leaders who see the people they lead as God’s children, precious and valued, become the most attractive leaders. People are really passionate about compassionate leaders. They will protect these kinds of leaders. The will do anything for these kinds of leaders. The will be open to receive from these kinds of leaders.

The landscape also represents the values of the leader. Leaders with God driven values are leaders with big voices. Their words hold weight in the hearts of those who follow them. People trust these kinds of leaders. They work hard for these kinds of leaders. They challenge their comfort zones and are motivated by these kinds of leaders.

I believe that every leader must step outside the organization where they are leading and look at their landscape. Glance over the hearts of the people following. Look at their faces. Are they smiling and filled with joy and enthusiasm to be serving the Lord and living on mission? Look at their marriages or relationships. Are they life-giving? Look at the culture. Is it value-driven? Is it gospel centered? Is it filled with love, grace, and empowerment? Are people being celebrated and affirmed?

Or do you have a culture of fear? Is the landscape rocky and people are filled with doubt? Are people not giving their hearts more and more to the Lord? Are people more concerned about doing and not becoming? Is the atmosphere tense? Are people more comfortable with criticizing then celebrating? Are people wondering in their hearts, is there purpose for me here? Are people comfortable with being harsh and cynical instead of loving and gentle? Is there a culture of unity or division?

Leaders are called to serve. We are called to empower. We are called to equip. In the essence of my topic, we are called to take care of our God-given landscape and our spirit determines it all.

Saul and David were two leaders we can learn from. Saul was a head above most men. David was ruddy and smaller in stature. Saul was driven by an evil spirit and died a crazed, God-forsaken man. David drove an evil spirit from Saul with the sound of his lyre. Saul hid out in his tent when Goliath taunted the Israelites. David stood up for his people and his God and defeated Goliath. The difference between bad and great leaders is not appearance or experience. God uses the unexpected, unimpressive, and inexperienced to accomplish remarkable things.

The ultimate difference between these men was their spirit. Their relationship with the Holy Spirit made all the difference in their leadership. The bible tells us this:

“And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah. Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul . . .” (1 Sam 16:13–14).

The demise of Saul’s leader started with absence of the Holy Spirit but the landscape was being trashed way before then. No matter where we are today, there is hope for our leadership landscapes because of a man named David!

So, how do we help people flourish? Just ask yourself this:

Are Humans Being or Are Humans Doing

This is the power of management or empowerment.

“Saul tried to manage and control everyone around him. He relied on bribes to get others to fight Goliath (1 Samuel 17:25). Saul discouraged young leaders like David (to not fight Goliath) because he was threatened by their leadership. The problem wasn’t that Saul lacked vision for what David could become; it was that he feared what David could become. He sought to manage, not empower the leaders around him. David, on the other hand, was constantly surrounded by “mighty men.” whom he empowered. — Churchleaders.com

“When people cannot become who God created them to be, there is a void.”

There is a frustration. There is internal decay that is taking place the longer their purpose is ignored. Leaders must know how to tell who is a rose, who is a lily, who is a tulip, who is a daffodil, and who is a shrub. When we become good at recognizing the internal flower of every follower on our team and teach other leaders the same skill, we then know how to plant them and care for them.

33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

Follow, Find Life, for Part 2 of The Landscape of Leadership.

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