God didn’t go looking for leaders. God looked for obedient people whom he then formed into leaders.Gene Wilkes, Jesus on Leadership
As part of my daily startup routine when I get into the office, I read part of a book. For someone like me who is not a natural reader, it’s been a nice discipline to try to develop.
For a good portion of 2020, I spent time reading through Gene Wilkes’ book Jesus on Leadership. And it was a great read.
This morning I was going back over my notes (another discipline I’m trying to develop), and found the quote above.
I’ve written about obedience over skill before, but I think Wilkes’ quote here is what trips up so many people as they seek to develop leaders, or even to develop as a leader themselves.
We set an imaginary bar someone must reach, and until they do so, we decide they (or we) don’t qualify.
But what if we change the bar for leadership?
What if the most important trait to look for in a potential leader isn’t their charm or their ability to work the crowd? Not that this disqualifies anyone.
What if the most important trait to look for in a potential leader isn’t their ability to rally a group of people for a cause? Not that this disqualifies anyone.
What if the most important trait to look for in a potential leader isn’t even their ability to connect with people one on one? Not that this disqualifies anyone.
What if the most important trait to look for in a potential leader is obedience to God? Someone who is willing to be obedient to what God is calling them to do. Someone who isn’t looking for the next ladder to climb or spotlight to stand in, but instead someone in tune with how God is moving in their lives. (Sometimes that movement includes a ladder, or a spotlight, or a brook.)
What’s your criteria for developing leaders? What are you looking for in students as you try to decide who may be able to take the next step?
What’s your criteria for yourself as a leader? When you don’t see the results you want in your own life, what becomes your baseline?
Remember, throughout scripture, God uses ordinary people who practiced obedience. Let’s aim for that today.