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.
After serving as bridge pastor at First Congregational Church of St. Louis, Missouri, during the past year, Herron moved recently to Lawrence, Kansas, where he will continue to minister in interim settings. He is author of Living a Narrative Life, Exploring the Power of Stories (Smyth & Helwys, 2019).