I have been thinking a lot about this subject: Leadership. The more I’ve tried to wrap my mind around it, the more I’ve come to a conclusion. It may be simple. Common even to some, but here it goes: We are all followers and leaders. In fact, to effectively lead, one must be a capable follower.
Allow me to use my family as an example. I’m a homemaker, a stay-at-home mom, who runs the household affairs. I work to keep our house clean, schedules running smoothly, finances balanced and bellies fed. I forefront the needs at home, while my husband is the spiritual leader of our family; he continually points us to the Lord. I seek to follow his direction within our family structure, while he strives to follow God in order to lead fruitfully. Without his devotion to the Lord, dedicating his efforts to the One who knows the outcome, his time and attempts to lead would be wasted. So as he leads me and our family, he is following the Lord. As I follow him, he follows God. See how that works? I lead our home while following my husband who leads me while following the Lord. Simultaneously, we’re both leaders and followers.
If I decided, I knew better than my husband, (and let’s be honest ladies, we’ve all thought that a time or two) and chose to disregard his leadership in our home, it would be disrespectful to his person, harmful to our relationship and destructive for our children. I would be portraying a lifestyle that is complacent with authority, quick to anger and rushes from stability. See, I need him to follow. He is my guide; my safety net. I know my limitations and when I reach them, I know it is his place to commence. I can rest trusting his leadership all the while still leading myself.
Not all marriages and family structures can or will look like ours. I realize there are unfaithful husbands and wives who cannot be trusted or followed. There are physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual ailments or reservations that create impossible situations for a husband or wife to lead in this capacity. My intention is not to mislead you into thinking your situation is less than mine or wrong if it looks different. The purpose behind sharing my family structure is simply for the example of leading while following.
In whatever role you play in the setting you find yourself, family, Biblical, corporate, wherever, you are both a leader and a follower. People are watching you. You are influencing others. Let us not fill these responsibilities reluctantly but run after our purpose, fulfilling our potential to lead while we follow. I believe that if half of those who read this article would choose to more actively seek after their leader and the waiting possibilities in simply fulfilling a responsibility, leadership would begin to look much different in our culture. For in doing, others would begin to follow the example set; creating a leader out of a follower.
Photo credit: dcysurfer / Dave Young / Foter.com / CC BY
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