Leadership does not come from a degree, a masters degree, or how long you have been with a company or organization. Yet this is one area that our society has gotten wrong over and over.
Leadership comes life experience. Life experience teaches you how to deal with people. Yes there are a lot of leaders in the workforce today that lack life experience.
Leadership is earned every day. Though a lot of leaders think a title makes them leaders. No. A title makes you a target!
In all of my vast experience in the military, workforce and ministry I have seen this over and over again.
In the military the leaders that led like Mel Gibson in the movie, We were Soldiers. Those were the most respected leaders. Why? The didn’t have to remind anyone of their rank or ask for respect. It came from their life experience and the heart to want to lead by example.
In ministry the leaders that surrounded themselves with talented and gifted people were the most successful at leading a church. They didn’t have to speak every Sunday, lead every meeting, or set their own agenda. Control is the opposite of leadership, placing people where they are called and gifted and letting those gifts shine is where true leadership shows through.
In the non profit sector the leaders that raised money for other people typically passed their own financial goals first because people saw that their heart was truly about serving others even if they didn’t ask for themselves, but shared stories of others staff and leaders of how that impacted their own life.
In the corporate world the leaders that returned calls, remembered birthdays, remembered anniversaries, honored their employees special occasions, and talk about life more than work typically made the best leaders. The people they led felt like family and not a number.
In each of the scenarios these leaders had a lot of life experience under their belt already. Expert leadership comes with life experience, not a degree. Experience comes from failures, not a stack of awards. Experience comes from living life on the edge, not a cookie cutter method. Experience comes from loving people, not loving money.
At some point in our history our society decided how to choose leaders from a certain criteria, a list, boxes to check off and honestly life experience didn’t make it on the list. So you can read a book and pass a test and that means you should be leader because you have a masters degree? Nope. There are bad doctors, lawyers, teachers, and Pastors and yet they all have many degrees. Then there are excellent doctors, lawyers, teachers, and Pastors with the same degrees but a heart to love people first!
Yes! Hear me! A heart to love people FIRST! Loving people comes from life experience not a degree, not a long listed resume, not a 7 for 7 quota achiever sales rep, and not the most educated pastor. While all these are great, most of them make the worst leaders because they love themselves and money more than the people that they are leading.
The bottom line.
You take a successful, educated employee that loves people with a lot of life experience to lead. That’s when everyone changes because they feel valued and appreciated to not just be a number.
Where’s my proof? The 12 disciples! Remember 4 were only fishermen at the time.