Leaders Who Lead and Some Who Don’t
Years ago, I found myself in charge of an organization that was deeply divided. Every decision was challenged. Every vote was split. As I struggled to lead, a good friend said to me, “Just lead! We will follow!” While not everyone followed, the organization survived. If you have ever been a part of an organization that suffered from a lack of leadership, you know how painful that can be. How agonizing it is to watch a group of people flounder around with no direction, wasting their time in meetings that have no real purpose, and dismissing without accomplishing anything of lasting value. Such is the fate of a leaderless organization. Leadership is crucial. People who find themselves in charge, but have no leadership ability, penalize the people. On the contrary, a gifted leader can lead people to accomplish goals beyond their own ability to envision. Alexander the Great is reported to have said, “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” Observe how the emphasis changes in the familiar scripture passage relating to the Apostle Paul turning west on his second missionary journey. So important was that decision, that some have said, had he not headed west, along with his entourage, we in the west might have been receiving missionaries today, rather than sending them. “A vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Acts 16:9-10). “He” (Paul) saw the vision, but “we” went to Macedonia, with the conclusion that God had called “us” to go. Leaders lead. Minus that truth, organizations suffer.