- What is Leadership?
- Who is a Leader?
- What Does it Mean to be Born and Made?
- What Does it Mean to be Born and Made as a Leader?
- Emirical Examples of Influential Men in History: who were born and made to lead.
The cry in every corner and spot of our land is the cry for effective leadership. More than ever in the history of mankind and our own land (Nigeria), is the need for true leaders alarming! Men who have ignorantly cast their lives' burdens, needs, worries and anxieties on other fellow men (apparently, LEADERS); have been met severely with great disappointments and oppressions.The leaders are no more there to serve their people(followers), but to exploit them. Leaders are no longer in offices or positions of authority to solve people's problems, but to create some more for them.The kind of leaders that we see in our land today (in every aspect of the society), are the least we could even dream of or even pray for.
The yearnings in the heart of all has been: Who shall lead us to the or a "promise land"? Who shall show us the way to an enviable future and guide us there? Who shall sacrificially solve the problems of our land? who shall show us the true example to follow? Who shall do this and who shall do that?The unfortunate pandemic, yet a reality is that; everyone that complains about the poor or ineffective leadership in the land, wrongly assumes that leadership is for some - the GIFTED few; the "supermen"; the Adolf Hitlers" and the "brains", etc. People have been conditioned to see leadership as a DISTANT thing; rather than something within them.
This write up is thus meant to help your understanding of leadership and its relationship with you, in relation to your environment, and your larger world.
WHAT is LEADERSHIP?
Leadership has been explained variously by various people and groups. Leadership is such a complex word, that gives good room for many interpretations. Despite all that, I would state that Leadership implies, responding to responsibility. Thus, one can affirm that, an attended responsibility will create a leadership of some sort.Leadership is also, the ability to direct others by influence. Various scholars have pointed out that the influence there, could be a positive or a negative influence.In this write up, I shall be making good use of the two definitions of leadership.Merging the two together; Leadership is the ability to direct others by influence, while responding to some sort of responsibilities.From this explanation of leadership, two words are pivotal. The words are "influence" and "responsibility". Most likely, where there is no responsibility, there will be no need for influence, and thus, no leadership. Also, when there exist a responsibility to be carried out or attended to, and there is no influence; there shall be no effective leadership.
But we must note something important from the last sentence of the last paragraph. The absence of influence doesn't imply the absence of leadership; but the absence of effective leadership. The opposite of influence is MANIPULATION, which is highly prevalent in our societies today. Whenever the leadership at any unit or form or nature, fails to possess a reasonable level of influence, over a given number of people, it turns to manipulation. In this case, people do things not because they want to, but because they have to. People are not inspired for any worthy cause, but compelled for the leader's cause.
Thus, apart from the importance of responsibility to create the need for leadership; influence is key to the effectiveness of any leadership.Leadership becomes effective with influence, and influence also becomes effective when people are well inspired - encouraged and motivated to move towards the direction . of the leadership. Thus, no inspiration, no influence, and no influence, no effective leadership.,/p>
WHO IS A LEADER?
A leader is someone occupying a position of influence, with the aim of responding to the responsibilities of the position, with the help of his or her people. Literally, a Leader is a anyone showing the way to go or do things by example. A Leader is someone with an assignment to accomplish and a people to influence through inspiration, towards getting the job done. A leader is quite different from a manager or supervisor or "senior". A leader is someone with vision, passion and influence (which is earned by trust overtime). Therefore, to lead is to be at the forefront of a responsibility, providing direction, focus, skills, inspiration, praises and feedbacks to the people behind him, so as to fulfill the responsibility and the same time, develop the capacity of his or her followers (people).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BORN AND MADE?
These are two different words and crucial aspects of emergence of any leadership - whether god or bad; effective or ineffective. The circumstance that surrounds the BIRTH and MAKING of any leader, would definitely influence or determine the style of leadership the leader will adopt.To be "born" is "to be brought to existence". To me, "born" here is a compound word, but I will spare you the details at this level of discussion. Something that had existed in another realm, but brought to the physical realm of manifestation is said to be born.While to be "made" is summarized as to be well worked upon, through a PROCESS that involves breaking, tearing and removing of materials. I mean, to be made is to have successfully passed through the PROCESS OF FORMATION of parts, organs, tissues, etc., which required good tolerance, long-suffering, hopefulness, patience, etc., unto the period of usefulness.Summarily, the MAKING of anything involves whatever takes place after the creation ("BIRTH") of a thing, to the time of relevance or usefulness of that thing.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BORN AND MADE AS A LEADER?
A born and made leader is anyone whose "terms of creation" or "term of birth" contains some elements of responsibilities and authority, who is then worked upon in a deliberate and systematized PROCESS OF FORMATION AND PREPARATION, so as to be able to respond to such responsibilities with the help of the people.Since leadership is primarily a position of service; a born an made leader is one who is created or given birth to and prepared through a conscious process to serve.Anyone who is born to lead, but fails to be made a leader, would definitely fail as an effective leader. The MAKING process of leaders, is the period when good characters are developed and proper skills are acquired. Thus, when this process is skipped, the "leader" becomes unfit for the responsibility he or she was created or given birth for.To be a born and made leader is to patiently, expectantly and watchfully pass through the making process; not being carried away by the "terms of creation/birth" - PURPOSE.
EMPIRICAL EXAMPLES FROM HISTORY
From the studies of the oldest and the most widely read book in the world - Bible, certain things are worthy of note. Adam was the first man to be created or born. And God his creator gave him these "terms of creation/birth":
"Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.So God created man in His own image; in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. The God said blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over every living thing that moves on the earth."
What a lovely "Terms of Creation"! Adam, the first man (born into the earth) had DOMINION - the power and right to rule, in his terms of creation. Adam had leadership in his genes. His Maker specifically created him to lead every other creature: For being created in the image of God the Creator, naturally confers leadership on him. God gave him power and authority to rule at birth. However, he had them good reason:
"Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it." Genesis 2:15
Is that not responsibility? At a point, Adam and his wife disobeyed the instructions of their Creator. When God (the Creator) asked the "leader" about what happened, his "irresponsibility" was revealed in his response. Immediately, he revealed how he has lost his influence as a leader.Genesis 3:6-13 revealed how Adam, the first human leader on earth, lost his influence, failed in his responsibility; and therefore, his leadership.Watch! There was no problem with his creation (his terms of creation were wonderful); but his MAKING process affected his effectiveness as a leader.
FACTORS IN HIS MAKING THAT AFFECTED HIS LEADERSHIP
- He was born as a man and not as a child -thus, missed the natural growth process of manhood (which would have helped him in taking responsibilities and responding accordingly to life challenges).
- He was born with "a silver spoon in his mouth", in addition to the leadership genes in him. He was always given his needs and wants. Thus, he became too used to it.
- His birth and making as a man (leader), lacked wilderness experience(which is the period characterized by "lack" and "loneliness", with intensive temptations. For true test of character is best done when a man is alone and in need of basic things of life.
- Though born to lead, but the leadership of Adam didn't show that he had any real role model. Although God was always fellowshipping with him, he didn't follow His steps.
As a result of all these listed above and some others not mentioned, his MAKING as a leader limited his leadership effectiveness.Though he was born to lead (even his wife); yet, his making process was a limitation.Thus, it is not sufficient to be a "born-leader"; to be effective in leadership, a man must be a "made leader".
Moses emerged to become the Senior Pastor of the largest Church in the history of mankind. However, he didn't become that overnight, he went through the PROCESS. Moses was born in the midst of economic and political hardship of his nation. Though there was no specific prophecy about his birth and life assignment, but he was a man who understood the main "terms of creation" of man. He understood the general responsibility of man; hence, he was careful to walk in the reality.
"Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was GROWN, THAT HE WENT OUT TO HIS BRETHREN AND LOOKED AT THEIR BURDENS. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So he looked this way and that way, and when he was no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, "why are you striking your companion?" Then he said, "who made you a prince and judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?"
There we go now! Did you notice something there? Despite the fact that his BIRTH was "ordinary", and also, he was from a minority group, yet, he had a different mentality. Moses had the mentality of a leader - a deliverer or judge! He saw "responsibility" and made himself available, just to make a difference.This tells me that, the circumstances surrounding your birth notwithstanding; your family background not really important as your consciousness of who you are and the terms of your creation.A man with good knowledge of his terms of creation and a passion to live his or her life accordingly, can never be stopped from leadership.
Obviously, the hot-temper and impatience was among the character defects of Moses at that time. As you know, Moses was brought up in the Palace; thus, he had little issues with PRIDE and HASTINESS among others. Therefore, God had to send him to the wilderness, where he spent 40 years (taking care of flocks and living a consecrated and "simple" lifestyle). Guess what? When God was done with him in the wilderness, he came out from there (wilderness), as the MEEKEST man on earth in his time. Just imagine that!
Friends! You are indeed born with strong leadership (dominion) gene inside of you; but the mode or manner or pattern of your MAKING would affect significantly, your effectiveness as a leader.God has created man (of which you are an offspring of the first man) to have dominion; thus, you must identity an area on the earth, where God has created you to have influence (that will be your own sphere of influence); and take charge.Every man has been created with the necessary potential to have a sphere of influence (it could be a field, trade, profession, sport, geographic area - town, city, state, or nation); what man needs to do is to identify it, work it out and rule it (RULE YOUR WORLD - sphere of influence!).
To become an effective or a true leader, do the following (as recommended by Dr. Myles Munroe):
- Discover your "life assignment" - Purpose.
- From that life assignment, form a clear and exciting mental picture of your future - Vision.
- Become highly passionate about the vision. For passion fuels better than "gas".
- Let others be inspired by your strange passion for your vision.
- As you remain passionate and get others inspired to do great things; you are already possessing strong influence over them.
- Thus, your leadership will grow stronger, even as your influence increases.
There are still quite some leaders to learn from in history. However, I shall be limiting this write up to the these ones already discussed. Adam was a "lousy" leader, who lost influence and thus, became "irresponsible" leader.Moses had a simple birth experience, with some character flaws; but was conscious of the terms of creation of man as a leader and king. Although his previous MAKING process limited his effectiveness as an emerging leader; God had to take him through the wilderness to learn good leadership lessons - such as love, guidance, patience, faith, etc. And when he was through, he became one the greatest leaders in history.
"You are born as a leader to lead, but you must be made (developed) to do it effectively".
"I AM A BORN-LEADER; BUT I MUST BE A MADE-LEADER TO MAKE TH BEST IMPACT IN MY GENERATION."