Leaders have a tremendous amount of power and as a volunteer leader I’m more and more aware of the power I have. My constant prayer is to be a servant leader and that I will use the power I have for the good of all.
Who determines what is ‘good’? Sometimes, when I’m truly connected to God, the karma of the earth, and have truly heard the concerns of others – then – and only then – I might see what is ‘good’. My goal is to give others a voice; then to hear what they are saying and feeling; to let them have a part in decision-making. Then the ‘power’ of leadership is shared. For only one person to have power is not my goal.
Do we always make good decisions? No. But the beauty of our lives is that we have an opportunity to start all over again. Incorrect or bad decisions can be reversed. Damage that’s been done can sometimes be repaired, and if it can’t be repaired then we can work to heal the wounds.
We all have a circle of influence. Some of our circles are small and some circles are huge. So here’s what I do when I’m placed in a position of influencing others through my leadership role:
1-Ask plenty of questions; give others a voice.
2-Ask if the answers I’ve been given work for the good of all.
3-Pray for guidance and discernment.
4-Turn to quiet time to listen for God’s voice (that’s the hardest part for me, as I tend to be ‘Chatty Cathy’ and keep rambling on and on and on).
5-Ask myself what role I should play in the next action – should I be the leader? Should I let someone else lead? For sure I should always participate in some way.
6-Make a decision and start implementing the actions needed.
For sure – I cannot know everything and cannot do it all. I constantly remind myself that sharing leadership – giving others opportunities to lead – is part of my role as a leader. Giving others opportunities shows I trust them and gives them opportunities to shine and to learn.
As a servant leader it’s my job to help, not overwhelm. It’s not my job to ‘show off’. I keep looking for ways to help others do what they’ve volunteered to do. Do I always succeed? No. Sometimes what others need isn’t clear. Sometimes they don’t share what they need and sometimes even when they share it I become blind to it. Why? I’m only human. If I don’t understand what someone is trying to tell me I find it helps to ask them to ‘tell me in a different way; use different words to explain’.
I have a friend who is also a leader and is masterful at asking probing questions. Questions that lead to more clear answers. That, to me, is the key. Keep asking questions, keep looking for answers that make a situation clear.
Then when I feel all possibilities have been shared and reviewed, then, and only then, as a leader, will I be able to make a decision that uses the power I have in a manner that serves the better good.