Leadership

john edBy John Ed Mathison
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries.

A couple of months ago President Obama nominated Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. to serve as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He is 59-years-old and will be only the second Marine to hold the highest U.S. military leadership post.

He will face a couple of huge challenges.  He will need to oversee the final withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by 2016 and conduct a successful air campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.  Dunford has a lot of experience as he commanded the Marine regiment that led the 2003invasion of Iraq.

Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. leads by example.  Gen. George Patton said, “Do everything you ask of those you command.”  Dunford gained the respect of all of his fellow Marines because at 59, he still participates in the demanding physical fitness test as corps commandant.  His fellow Marines say, “He’s the epitome of a Marine leader.”

We lead and learn by example.  Mick Jagger’s ex-wife Jerry Hall told a London newspaper that their four children may have avoided the pitfalls of alcohol and drug abuse because of what they witnessed growing up.  Hall said, “They spent their life looking at Keith Richards passed out on the couch.  That could be it.” Sometimes a bad example produces a good result.

Leadership is not telling people what to do, but doing it.  Jesus warned people about the Pharisees.  He said they know how to talk, but they don’t walk like they talk.  He said, “What they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds for they say things and do not do them.”  (Matthew 23:3)

When Jesus called people to be His disciples He didn’t describe for them a lot of what they were going to be doing.  He didn’t discuss benefits or have those early fishermen meet with the HR department.  They weren’t people that most companies would have gone after.  But Jesus didn’t vet His team by what they had been – but by what He saw they could be!  Jesus simply said, “Follow me.”  He set the example.  He didn’t ask them to do anything that He was not already doing. I like the motto of the Army that says, “Follow me.”  That is leadership.

Leadership is about leading – not talking.  Leadership is inviting people to follow where you are going. Failing to lead by example can create a false chasm between the leader and people.  The result is that you don’t know if people are chasing you or following you!

Let’s lead

John Ed’s blog posts appear each week in For His Glory.
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:info@johnedmathison.org

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4 thoughts on “Leadership

  1. Loved your direction Steven–no pun intended. Being a participator first, then a proven leader; that’s where it begins. Those who never participate, who are only spectators on the sidelines, who are eager to comment on how individuals perform…will never be leaders! There seems to be a few “spectators” only on this blog-site. I mention this only as an encouragement to your readers as you are an encouragement to me. Thanks for participating!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! What an encouragement you are to me. Comments like yours are the fuel that keeps me going. Thank you so much and God bless.

      Like

  2. Being a “leader” and providing “leadership” is not a solo function. You say,”Leadership is inviting people to follow where you are going.” Jesus uttered such an invitation to the individuals in the crowds that followed him around during his ministry, but ultimately he didn’t do it alone. He had a team of selected “disciples” to help him with the process. I invite you to read about this matter of sharing leadership functions at http://www.christianityetc.org/leadership.php. If anyone is interested in my free manual on “Leadership and Teamwork in the Church”, let me know and I’ll be glad to send it to them.

    Like

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