What Sources Your Decisions and Actions as a Leader?
SPECIAL SERIES > Every DAY this WEEK (Monday through Friday)
EXPLORING the topic of AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP
Today’s TOPIC: Authentic leaders have a strong, internal compass
In the early years, I know I often times led out of my need approval more than out of the beliefs I held to be true. People, and their opinions, tossed me about in the storms of leading. I did not want that to be the case, but God was using those experiences to shape me and my leadership.
As I experienced the ups-and-downs of leadership, I realized that I needed to incorporate what I “knew” to be true from God’s Word, and what I saw to be true from God’s Work, into something that could help lead me, as I guided others.But God uses life and leadership lessons to forge a leader’s core values.
Authentic leaders have a strong, internal compass that serves to guide them and their leadership. CORE VALUES are those summation statements that become anchors in the midst of the storms. They are more than statements of belief. They are shaped by God into the life and fabric of a leader’s behavior. They become a leader’s nonnegotiables.
In Ephesians 4, Paul tells us that Christ has given to His Church leaders who are His gifts to lead His Bride forward. These leaders are to be an equipping force that builds the character and strength of the Church to withstand the challenges to doctrine and faith. The Result: “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” (Eph. 4:14)
Authentic leadership is sourced from the Word of God (Psalm 119:105-112) and based out a set of convictions and values mimicking the life of Christ. God deposits these essentials during the crucible of discipleship and leadership. They reveal and communicate to others what is important, and form the basis of decision-making. CORE VALUES are the few bottom-line essentials which a leader is willing to go to battle for, and are what he or she will not compromise or sacrifice.
It is these “rock piles” and “sovereign” lessons that are empowered by God’s Spirit, and are out in front, leading the leader. And those they lead know when an “authentic leader” is asked to violate those principles or convictions. It is like the fingernails on the chalkboard of old.
Here are a few of my CORE VALUES:
People – My capacity to influence is based on my relationship with them, more than my expertise.
Community – We do not get to clarity alone. I chose to do my life and ministry together, with others.
Family – Robin, my kids, and their kids will always be my most significant ministry.
Authentic leadership – Everything rises and falls on being able to offer others a genuine, real, godly leadership.
Brave heart – Choosing to step out and step beyond… willing to sacrifice and risk… living with integrity and selflessness.
So What’s Leading You? What are YOUR CORE VALUES?
Here are steps we (Leader Breakthru) use to help leaders clarify their CORE VALUES:
1. GAIN THE BIG PICTURE – See your life in its total. Learn to live soverigenly, not situationally. We encourage people to create a Post-it Note Time-line to help visually see their life and the various people, events and circumstances that have shaped their lives.
2. SUMMARIZE YOUR LESSONS – Look for key lessons and deposits that God has placed into your life. Scribe out a series of key life lessons. “What do you dare not forget?” “What must the future include, based upon your past?”
3. DRAFT A LIST OF CONVICTIONS – What are six-eight key convictions that surface from those lessons. Begin to list them out in sentence form. Go to those who know you, and try them out. Are they in agreement? Have they seen these in your behavior? Do they reflect your aspirations for how life and ministry should be led?
4. DEFINE YOUR CORE VALUES – Summarize your Value in one-two words, then write a descriptive statement of each value, helping to articulate what you mean by each value.
Tomorrow’s Final BLOG POST of this Series: Authentic leaders are mission focused
© Terry Walling 2013