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Leaders lead by example. They
·  don’t ask others to do what they are not already doing;

·  set the pace of expectation and performance; and

·  set the standard by which the group’s success is achieved.

Leaders lead by honesty. They

·  determine for themselves they will tell the truth;

·  understand that secrets are often embedded in the life of the group; and

·  recognize that dishonesty is a habit that eventually overshadows the clarity of truth and becomes a threat of disease to the health of the group.

Leaders lead by trust. They

·  cannot lead in a group where trust is not shared as an extension of healthy relationships with one another;

·  must accept the trust offered them knowing it is an extension of our trust with God; and

·  must extend trust to those with whom they work as an extension of their desire for the group to experience healthy vitality.

Leaders lead by outward example. They

·  recognize it’s what they do and not what they say that really matters in the end;

·  act on the basis of their deepest convictions; and

·  act sacrificially for the overall health of the group.

Leaders lead by integrity. They

·  recognize that without integrity their efforts are neutralized or wasted;

·  offer themselves as faithful models that can be followed by others who are seeking the path for themselves; and

·  understand that secrets diminish the group’s health.

Leaders lead by inward self-understanding. They

·  differentiate the outward image presented through their actions from the inward essence of their true self;

·  see themselves honestly, recognizing that health of self emanates from within; and

·  accept their dark selves and seek to resolve those conflicts in healthy ways.

Leaders lead by ethical moral authority. They

·  do not demand perfection of themselves or others but recognize imperfection as a sign of our mutual humanity;

·  recognize the source of their power resides in their ability to live ethically according to the way of Christ; and

·  seek to resolve their errors with others and with God.

Leaders lead by living against the grain of lesser ways of being. They

·  are willing to choose the harder path if that’s the necessary path that leads to success;

·  refuse to take shortcuts that threaten the group’s health or success; and

·  ask others to follow them.

Leaders lead by humility. They

·  recognize the truth, “but by the grace of God go I;”

·  know others have paved the way before them and made their success possible; and

·  seek to elevate others to achieve success.

Leaders lead by owning their power. They

·  know they have power to lead;

·  accept that power and vow to wield it with wisdom and kindness; and

·  seek to serve through their power and recognize their power is a sacred trust.

Leaders lead by seeing what others cannot see. They

·  are visionary and give thoughtful anticipation to the future;

·  lead by looking, thinking, dreaming, planning, building consensus, sharing, and working; and

·  dream about how the future could be and don’t stay mired in the puny limitations of what is.

Leaders lead by courage. They

·  accept that their role of leadership will be challenged;

·  step forward into the heart of the group’s need; and

·  accept responsibility and don’t dump it upon others.

Leaders lead by submitting to the paradox of following. They

·  know there is a larger wisdom at work in their efforts by allowing God room to work;

·  know they cannot do everything alone and allow faith to guide and direct others who share the vision; and

·  are willing to be clay in the potter’s hand.

Leaders lead by understanding that the smallest things are essential to the largest things. They

·  recognize the wisdom of the Hebrew saying that, “it’s the little foxes that spoil the vineyard.”

·  know that it’s the little details that determine success or failure; and

·  are willing to give attention to the small details “as unto the Lord” understanding that everything they do is a reflection of their relationship to God.

Leaders lead.

Keith Herron is senior pastor of Holmeswood Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo. A version of this column appeared previously on his blog.

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