Last week, I started a mini-series on leadership and what the Bible says about it. Today, we want to dive deeper into see what a godly leader looks like.
Currently, we have many new leaders. Our desperate prayer as those who will be subject to their guidance and political direction is that they are not just hungry for power but they are hungry for positive change that will benefit the nation and not just their pockets.
For sure, the people of the nation have spoken loud and clear that they certainly are hungry for radical reforms. Cries of corruption going unchecked, government processes being inefficient and ineffective, and leaders who are more concerned with their image and comfort than the legacy left on those they lead have filled the papers and pages of social media.
We look at the new faces of those who will lead our nation and see many “inexperienced” politicians. To some, they fear being led by novice leaders. To some, they welcome fresh insights and the hope that some things will improve. Here is what I can promise. NOTHING WILL CHANGE unless leaders are intentional about making those changes. Good leadership isn’t an accident. It is a daily choice. It is an intentional mindset which takes empathy and discipline. Let’s look at some of the qualities we pray our new leaders will aspire to possess.
1. Empathy – A good leader puts himself in the shoes of those he leads. How will this decision affect them? A good leader takes the time to talk to those he leads and finds out their stories, listen to their hearts, and hear the struggles of their life. He does this so that when he signs a sheet of paper enacting a policy or is tempted to make a corrupt deal which will negatively affect innocent people who depend on him, he sees their faces and remembers their cries.
The hope and prayer is he/she will remember that it is not all about them. Others are depending on him/her to remember his decisions affect others.
“Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than ourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2: 3-5
2. Vision – A good leader must have a clear idea of where he/she wants to go. Again, things do not change for the better by accident. There has to be a very clear plan of what the ultimate goal is and what steps must be taken on a daily basis to get to that ideal place.
My husband, Percy Thaba, is an unbelievable project manager. He does this on a professional basis, but it spills over into our home as well thankfully. Our entire family is stronger because of his organisational and visionary skills. Let me give you an example. We desire to have good responsible kids. He isn’t naïve enough to think that will happen. He has us making a plan of what that looks like every day starting now to reach “the future goal”. For us, that means consistent discipline to mold and shape our
It means loads of quality time finding out about their lives and pouring love into their little formidable hearts. It means tucking them in each night and assuring them of our commitment to pray for them. It means… I could go on and on, but my point is there are small daily steps we are taking to lead us to a bigger goal. Our leaders need to be very intentional about knowing what daily steps need to be taken to take us to the greater goal of positive change.
“When there’s no vision, the people get out of control, but whoever obeys instruction is happy”. Proverbs 29:18
3. Focus – Once the vision is set, a good leader learns to focus on the goal. This takes enormous amounts of discipline, especially in forms of political leadership. The pressures are huge to please people in the short term even if that means disappointing them in the long run. Let me explain what I mean. In political leadership, it looks good to attend every meeting, to honour every courtesy call, and to show face at every well publicised event. In the effort to LOOK GOOD, you may actually DO BAD at your job. IN the end, you please the people in the short term but disappoint them in the long run because you weren’t focused on the ultimate goal which you know will help everyone. A leader MUST learn to streamline and use his/her time wisely so that he doesn’t off course and take us to an undesirable destination.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it”. Isaiah 30:21
4. Good communicator – A good leader needs to be able to clearly articulate the vision they have and the steps they are taking to achieve it so that the people rally behind the vision. Looking at point 3, a good leader will learn how to turn down a fancy invitation by clearly explaining what their goals are and why they must spend their time wisely to achieve that goal, which is in the end, for the best interest of the greater majority. A good leader continually updates those he leads with progress reports and admits when he is failing. A good leader understands that he needs to seek voices of truth around him/her who will speak what he NEEDS to hear and not what he wants to hear. He/she will graciously accept constructive criticism as he knows he is becoming a better person to help others not just himself.
“Better to be criticised by a wise person than to be praised by a fool.” Ecclesiastes 7:5
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook page: Talking with the Thabas
Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker and life coach. She is the author of the well-known books, Dive In and Conquering the Giants. She also facilitates corporate team building and wellness activities. You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba.