What comes to your mind when someone talks about character-based leadership?
I started Follower of One to mobilize leaders. Do you see yourself as a leader? When you think of a leader, do you think of someone who is in charge, in control, directing people. Do you think of someone who got where they are because of their performance or their charisma?
When I think of a leader, I think of the best people I’ve known. Most sacrificed to make me successful. Many said the hard things to me, but left me to make the choices and do the work. My future was always within my influence.
If I wanted to get ahead, they helped me. And if I didn’t want to get ahead, they either corrected me or let me experience the consequences. My best leaders had a natural integrity, provided a level of transparency so I could see their character and choose to join them, with my best energy.
I call this character-based leadership. A character-based leader leads from who they are, and not their position, power or their past performance. The character of the leader, seen by others, inspires enthusiasm, energy, commitment, service. The leader brings those qualities as an example and others chose to join. Rather than passively follow, they actively invest as a partner. The respect and the relationship creates organic energy. And organic energy always accomplishes more than directed energy.
Jesus led this way. He came to be known and to redeem creation (Luke 19:10). You and I get to choose. When we choose to follow him, we begin to know him and understand what he did for us. Our understanding prompts us to devote more (all) of our lives and our energy to join him in his work. His work makes him known. We volunteer for the mission because we choose to. When we choose to bend our lives to follow him, he gives us his Holy Spirit to equip, guide and empower us. All we have to do is follow Jesus and he will use us to influence others.
We call this group Follower of One because we’re leaders. We may not have positions of leadership, but we take responsibility, choose, and invest our best energy in pursuit of the greatest goal, eternally working for Jesus.
But this is only an introduction. What would you say makes a leader?
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