The Seeds of Leadership – October 2006
By Sean Wolfington
All around us, people are looking for leaders. But where do leaders come from? How do we recognize them?
Planted deep within each one of us is a seed of leadership that, if nurtured and cultivated, will bear fruit. Dr. McKinley Johnson, author of “Natural Leadership Development” states that the seed of leadership is sown in the heart of every person. However, a leader must be placed in the right environment for this seed to germinate properly.?
As a leader, you must know yourself and your own strengths and weaknesses, so that you can build the best team around you. Whether you are a leader in the home, in the community, or in any business, leadership must be centered on a solid foundation of virtues. Ensure that your managers are applying these same principles. Good leadership principles must cascade down through the whole dealership. The fundamental seeds of leadership are seven-fold:
Wisdom is the ability to recognize the difference between good and evil, and choosing what is good. Wisdom can also be applied in the way we incorporate our values into our decision-making process. A wise leader is able to link the past, present, and future by making decisions today that are driven by the vision of tomorrow and based upon what was learned yesterday.
The virtue of understanding provides leaders with the insight to perceive situations in the broader scope of the “bigger picture.” Growth in this area comes through meditation and reflection, and surrender to one’s own expectations to make room for new insights. From the fruit of this seed, an effective leader will be able to understand the true meaning of life, thereby empowering and equipping his or her followers for success while discovering how to develop an attitude that inspires and motivates colleagues.
In adverse and challenging situations, this seed will not only enable a good leader to exercise good judgment, but will enable him or her to advise and help others to make the right decisions, as well. Have faith in people to do great things – given space and time, everyone can achieve more than they thought possible.
Provide others with relevant interesting opportunities and with proper measures and rewards, and they will more than repay your confidence.
Fortitude makes a leader .rm in the face of difficulties, and constant in the pursuit of righteousness. A leader who cultivates the seeds of courage and fortitude will have strength to resist temptations, to overcome obstacles, to face fear, and even to suffer persecution in humble meekness. A leader with a breastplate of courage will be able to make difficult decisions bravely, and implement them with truthfulness and sensitivity.
The seeds of knowledge give a leader the confident understanding of a subject, along with the ability to use it for a specific purpose. Knowledge is information obtained through reason and is the common point between truth and belief.
Being faithful and devoted to living each day through goodness in word and deed is at the heart of this seed. Leaders who reap the fruits of this seed give respect and praise when due, and are rewarded accordingly.
With the gift of wonder and awe, a leader has the ability to see the world in its entire splendor. Albert Einstein once said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: His eyes are closed.”
The fruit of the seeds of effective leadership is an environment filled with loyal and trusting followers who have learned by the examples that have been shown them, and who, by their own will and desire, seek what it is that they have been influenced by. Great leaders bear the fruits and know how to communicate and inspire others through a life of service, kindness, faithfulness and love.
May that ever be so with us.
Sean Wolfington is the owner of BZResults.com. He can be contacted at 866.802.5753, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.