Clippings from “Spiritual Leadership”

Day 3 of J. Oswald Sanders and Spiritual Leadership.

Oh man… today’s chapter was a good one! It was packed with so much material! BUT in the interest of brevity AND to make up for yesterday’s data dump, I’m not going to post all of the good content. If you’re interested in it… buy the book and read…

Chapter 5 = Can You Become a Leader?

Sanders gives a list of questions that when answered will help you thoughtfully assess your leadership potential and help you identify areas to celebrate and go to work on.

  • Have you ever broken a bad habit? To lead others, you must master your appetites.
  • Do you keep self-control when things go wrong? The leader who loses control under adversity forfeits respect and influence. A leader must be calm in crisis and resilient in disappointment.
  • Do you think independently? A leader must use the best ideas of others to make decisions. A leader cannot wait for others to make up his or her mind.
  • Can you handle criticism? Can you profit from it? The humble person can learn from petty criticism, even malicious criticism.
  • Can you turn disappointment into creative new opportunity?
  • Do you readily gain the cooperation of others and win their respect and confidence?
  • Can you exert discipline without making a power play? True leadership is an internal quality of the spirit and needs no show of external force. (For more on this idea read this book – A Tale of Three Kings)
  • Are you a peacemaker? A leader must be able to reconcile with opponents and make peace where arguments have created hostility.
  • Do people trust you with difficult and delicate situations?
  • Can you induce people to do happily some legitimate thing that they would not normally wish to do?
  • Can you accept opposition to your viewpoint or decision without taking offense? Leaders always face opposition.
  • Can you make and keep friends? Your circle of loyal friends is an index of your leadership potential.
  • Are you at ease in the presence of strangers? Do you get nervous in the presence of your superior?
  • Are the people who report to you generally at ease? A leader should be sympathetic and friendly.
  • Are you interested in people? All types? All races? No prejudice?
  • Are you tactful? Can you anticipate how your words will affect a person?
  • Is your will strong and steady? Leaders cannot vacillate or cannot drift with the wind.
  • Can you forgive? Or do you nurse resentments and harbor ill-feelings toward those who have injured you?
  • Are you reasonably optimistic? Pessimism and leadership do not mix.
  • Do you feel a master passion such as that of St. Paul, who said, “This one thing I do!” Such singleness of motive will focus your energies and powers on the desired objective. Leaders need a strong focus.
  • Do you welcome responsibility?

As you read and answer these questions, no doubt there will be some answers that you don’t like. So does that mean you can’t be a leader? No. Sanders writes, “Adding leadership potential to our lives usually requires that we shake off negative elements that hold us back.”

What’s holding you back from being a great leader today?

Will you begin addressing it today so that tomorrow you will be a better leader? Go for it!

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