By DL Banks
Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.
Power isn’t control at all — power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own. Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it. If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader. Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.
A man can only lead when others accept him as their leader, and he has only as much authority as his subjects give to him. All of the brilliant ideas in the world cannot save your kingdom if no one will listen to them. I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men. He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a great leader. A leader. . .is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind. True leaders understand that leadership is not about them but about those they serve. It is not about exalting themselves but about lifting others up.
Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. “Leadership qualities” are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor, flexibility, resourcefulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when things are going badly. True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders. The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.
Truly powerful people have great humility. They do not try to impress, they do not try to be influential. They simply are. People are magnetically drawn to them. They are most often very silent and focused, aware of their core selves. … They never persuade, nor do they use manipulation or aggressiveness to get their way. They listen. If there is anything they can offer to assist you, they offer it; if not, they are silent. Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of like is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give. I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.
A sign of power in a man is not only when people follow what he suggests, but also when people make a conscious effort to do the exact opposite of what he suggests. There are also those who inadvertently grant power to another man’s words by continuously trying to spite him. If a man gets to the point where he can simply say, ‘The sky is blue,’ and people indignantly rush up trying to refute him saying, ‘No, the sky is light blue,’ then, whether they realize it or not, he has become an authority figure even to such adversaries. We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.
The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done. The world is full of men who want to be right, when actually the secret of a man’s strength and his pathway to true honor is his ability to admit fault when he has failed. God wants to fill the church with men who can say they are wrong when THEY ARE WRONG. A man who is willing to humble himself before God and his family and say:”I was wrong.” will find that his family has all the confidence in the world in him and will much more readily follow him. If he stubbornly refuses to repent or admit he was wrong, their confidence in him and in his leadership erodes.
In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be, by remaining what we are.