Some are just born leaders, right? Wrong!
Many people assume that leaders are born, not made. I’m here to tell you the exact opposite is true. Leaders are made.
Leonard Ravenhill once told a thought-provoking story. A tourist groub was in a quaint village, and they approached an elderly man sitting by a fence. They wanted to know more about the history of the city. So one snobbish tourist asked the old man, “Were any great men born in this village?” The old man replied, “Nope, only babies.”
No one is born a leader. Only babies are born. I’m a father. But I wasn’t born a father. I’m now a grandfather. But I wasn’t born a grandfather. I was a pastor. But I wasn’t born a pastor. Like everyone else, I was just born a person. When I was delivered, the doctor didn’t say, “Oh, Mrs. Williams! You’ve given birth to a pastor!” He said, “Mrs. Williams, you’ve given birth to a little boy!”
Leaders are not born. Leaders are made. In fact, the word “leader” doesn’t mean a whole lot by itself, does it? You can be a lousy leader, a lame duck leader, an ignorant leader, an incompetent leader. It’s the modifier that matters. Some people like to fancy themselves leaders, but nobody is really following them.
Three Levels of Leadership
I have studied leadership for over forty years now. In every conceivable profession or calling—business, ministry, education, home life—you find three levels of leaders. You get to decide what level of leadership you walk in.
First level—superficial leadership
These leaders are just on the surface. Often, they don’t even want to be leaders. Their attitude is, “If nobody else wants to do it, I guess I will.” Superficial leadership derives from title and position only.
Picture a situation where the company puts the owner’s son over a department. He has no skills. They can call it leadership, but it’s not real leadership. It is puppet leadership, an empty position. God has not called you or anyone to be a puppet. He has called us to be pacesetters. Superficial leadership does more harm than good. It gives true leadership a bad name.
Second level—adequate leadership
Eighty-five percent of leaders fall into this category. They are adequate at what they do, but that is all. If superficial leadership is on the surface only, adequate leadership is shallow. It accepts and enjoys the position of leadership but does not try to excel as a leader.
This kind of leader does not study to improve. He or she merely gets by and is not focused on serving others. This type of leader is merely average and common. This is not the kind of leader you want to be.
Third level—master level leadership
This kind of leadership will bring you before kings. It will give you a great follower-ship. It is the kind of leadership that will take you places that you have never been before in your family, your finances, and your ministry.
This is the Jesus kind of leadership. It’s deep leadership, servant-hearted leadership, extra-mile leadership. These leaders enrich every life they touch. They have vision and are committed to excellence. They have purpose, direction, and focus. They have a special edge that keeps them going when the times get tough. These leaders say, “God, what are you doing and how can I be a part of it?”
This is the level of leadership you and I want! It is the attitude that will turn us into pacesetting leaders.