The following contribution is shared to offer a better insight into the WHO (of me). It reveals the how & why serving the WHO (of you), that I am destined to partner with, fulfills my life’s dream work.
On Being the Leader Others Long to Follow:
The Way Up is from Within
Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines Lead as “to guide or conduct by showing the way.” A Leader is the one who goes first - guiding, conducting & exemplifying the necessary actions that display their ability to lead, as opposed to simply using words alone.
Throughout the ages, the issue over whether Leaders are born or made has been hotly debated. More often than not, the consensus has been that leaders are made: formed by their experiences and ability to overcome challenges in life. I agree with this sentiment; however, both views are correct. For one to be made into a leader, one must first be born. While this fact is obvious and may seem trivial, it is important to note for the true leader who others will follow. The potential for greatness and inspired leadership is present in each human being’s heart upon their birth. Each individual must decide to be made into the leader they were born to be - it is a personal choice.
Every great leader develops by experiencing great leadership as a follower of a great leader. History has provided us with many leaders who have gloriously exemplified the definitions of a leader, but One shines brightly above the rest: Yeshua HaMashiach, known also as Jesus Christ. In The Holy Bible He teaches the formula for becoming a leader others desire to follow: “To be a great Leader, one MUST first be (My) servant” (Mark 10:43).
While Servant Leadership has recently come into vogue, the Bible has long taught this secret as the formula for truly great leadership development. The Word of God promises much to great servants who become great leaders. Psalm 35:27 states, “Let the Lord be magnified who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” It pays richly to serve. Whether you are currently a Christian or not, the principles of being the leader others long to follow are still applicable. If you will only act upon and develop the traits of the Servant Leader, you WILL succeed as the leader who others seek to follow.
The characteristics of the true, Servant Leader are many. A servant is defined as a person who tends to another; a servant differs from a slave, as the servant's subjection to a master is voluntary, whereas the slave's is not. Every slave is a servant, but every servant is not a slave – Webster’s 1828. Dictionary.com (2017), defines servant as, “A person in the service of another.”
His Servant is:
S = Spirit-filled. Galatians 05:22-23 states, “The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is Love, Joy (gladness), Peace, Patience (an even temper, forbearance), Kindness, Goodness (benevolence), Faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), and Self-Control (self-reliant, continence). Being Spirit-filled and therefore Spirit-led is the first and most important characteristic of the leader who others will follow. When others see you being led by THE Leader, you will be respected as a leader worthy of following because you are going in a Godly direction.
Other “S” attributes are embodied in: being Success-minded; being Solid (morally) – only on a firm foundation of self-respect and good morals can one build a great Life, including becoming a great leader; be a Sower (one who gives freely – is not stingy); is Selective with their Time (only giving oneself to relationships which are mutually beneficial); is Sincere; and Strong.
E = Embracing and Expectant. John 14:26 states, “The Holy Spirit will teach you EVERYTHING you need to know.” The true leader who others will follow must Embrace the Holy Spirit and His mission and Expect Him to fulfill His mission in their life.
Other “E” attributes are embodied in: Encouragement (THE True Leader is most supportive of their followers – leading them with love & encouragement to the place of their prosperity); having Energy or being Energetic; Efficiency; and Engagement (being in the moment).
R = Reliable (Faithful). Proverbs 28:20 states, “The faithful WILL overflow with many Blessings.” The true leader who others will follow is Reliable, which is Faithful & Trustworthy in action. The followers feel safe following because they Trust the leader.
Others “R” attributes are embodied in: being Resourceful (knowing how to help followers, whether by experience or by asking others for help); being Radial (A BIG Thinker); Radiating with health (understanding that good health is vitally important, because without superior and vibrant health, the leader will not be able to lead for long, as she/he will not live long if they do not take proper care of their bodies); being a Reaper or a Receiver (understanding that it is just as important to receive and “reap” as it is to sow and give – when one is a gracious Receiver, it allows others to be blessed from giving to them); being a Risk-taker (Ready for change).
V = Valiant. Joshua 01:06-08 states: “Only be (Valiant), Strong and very Courageous… Always say My words day and night and then you will attract Prosperity, Wisdom and Good Success.” Valiance or Courage is essential to the leader others will follow – no one will follow one is afraid.
Other “V” attributes are embodied in: Vibrancy with health (again emphasizing the Importance of taking health most seriously); being Virtuous (stout/good character); having a Victorious attitude (positive thinker); and a heart for Volunteerism.
A = Approachable. Hebrews 04:16 states: “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” As Great as He is, God gives us free access to Him; so as the leader others will follow, one must be Approachable by those who follow them when they need help and/or encouragement.
Other “A” attributes are embodied in: Advocacy (being a voice for those without one); Aligned, being an Ally to their followers; capacity for great Aptitude (Intelligent & Lover of Learning); Admirable (someone to be admired & proud of because of actions of love).
N = NOW. Hebrews 11:01 states: “NOW Faith is.” The leader who others will follow understands that NOW is the most important time. The future, although important, is not nearly as vital as the present, as what is happening right now. One must be successful in the NOW to make it to the future.
Other “N” attributes are embodied in: being Natural or genuine and being Nurturing, offering support & compassion.
T = Teachable or Humble and Thankful. James 04:10 states, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.” II Corinthians 02:14a states: “Thanks be to God – He Always leads us into Triumph.” The leader who others will follow must be Teachable, therefore humble enough to lead and Thankful, knowing that he/she could not effectively do it alone, but only with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Other “T” attributes are embodied in: being Trusting (having the ability to trust others); Trust-worthy; a Tither (one who honors God and His Word); Talented; a (gentle) Taker (one on the offensive: taking action to love now – not one who sits back and allows life to simply happen to make their Life great).
S.E.R.V.A.N.T. characterizes the True and Great Leaders who others long follow. The Greatness that is within them from their birth. His Servant is Spirit-filled, Embracing and Expectant, Reliable, Valiant, Approachable, a Now action-taker and Teachable (humble), Thankful and Triumphant.
Only the Leader who exemplifies S.E.R.V.A.N.T. leadership from within, is the ONLY leader deserving of followers. This leader will actively lead to prosperity & success in every area of life for themselves and others.
Revised & updated January 2017, Cutressa M. Williams.
Originally written for and published in “The Power of Leadership: Becoming the Leader Others Will Follow,” by Daniel and Debbra Sweet, Pro Publishing Company, January 2009.