We have all been watching with fascination the changing of the guard in the White House. This transition of people and philosophies begs the question, what does real leadership look like?
“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man,” said our first president, George Washington, from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes. I would suggest that a leader can be identified in the way he initiates and maintains relationships.
When our kids were growing up, we could count on one hand the people who initiated friendships. When Dave came home one day and told me a mom had called him at work to get my number so our girls could meet, I was amazed.
“Dave, do you realize she is initiating?” It seemed to me I did all the initiating. “We will definitely call her back.” All these years later our girls are still best of friends. The fellowship they enjoy is based on years of give and take.
Initiating love is a powerful force. Why? Because God designed us to respond to initiating love. We are like homing pigeons. He turns us loose, tossing us up to catch a gentle breeze and soar, but all the while His heart wants us to return to Him. Instinctively, we home toward fellowship with Him.
We are His. He seeks us out. He wants a relationship with us. He initiates with us. Naturally our hearts tingle with anticipation somewhere in a deep spiritual level when anyone initiates a relationship with us. We are hardwired to respond initiating love.
George Washington also said, “A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends.” Certainly this applies to leadership as well, which is stewardship of a kind of friendship for those we lead even when we do not know them personally.
Initiating wholesome, productive relationships is the mark of a humble leader. To have that kind of integrity we have to drill deep into our own heart, put others ahead of ourselves, and be willing to take a risk. When we look back in life, the leaders who stand out are the ones who proved to be trustworthy over the years. Their integrity stands firm in the face of life’s pressures because of their humility and their ability to foster fellowship in all their relationships.
Leaders who take a risk by initiating relationships know who they are and why God put them on this earth. In fact one reason humility is a pronounced characteristic of a true leader is because they do not try to be self-sufficient. Instead they look for giftedness in others and marvel at God’s provision. Not a bad way to run a business or a home or, yes, even a nation.
At home, in our community, and even at a national level, we have the opportunity to affirm good leadership that initiates loving solutions for the benefit of others, not self.
Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Comments are invited at email@example.com or on Facebook.