Naturally when we look at a big job or topic we all want to break it down so that it is easier to understand or complete. That is what we are trying to do when we ask, “what is leadership?” It is so easy to get overwhelmed by the topic of leadership. Many wonderful women and men have narrowed it in different ways and today I want to bring you one more way to break leadership down and simplify it. So you may ask, “what is leadership?”
When I sat down with Dr. Brown, who is the president of Cedarville University not only did I talk with him about marriage and parenting but I also asked him about leadership. We talk about a few different things but the one that jumped out at me was how he described what leadership is. So what follows are not my thoughts but the thoughts of Dr. Brown on what leadership is.
Dr. Brown took leadership and turned it into 3 C’s. If you want to simplify how to develop yourself then focus on these 3 C’s: Character, Competence and Communication.
Character: Leaders have to have the trust of those who they lead and this is built through character. When leaders lose their integrity then they lose the trust of their people and in turn lose the ability to have influence over them. Dr. Brown challenged me that as men we need to protect ourselves and fight for our integrity to remain in place. I love it when he said, “people will not follow a scoundrel.”
Competence: If we are going to lead well then we need to be competent in two ways. The first is that we need to understand the field we are leading in. If we do not we can hurt a lot of people with our lack of skills and knowledge. Secondly, we need to be competent in common things that are a part of all leadership. Things like making decisions. Do you have the ability to make tough decisions that can affect people? Are you able to handle that pressure? Another area is do you have the ability to operate with out the need to be liked by those you work with or lead. If you are always concerned about how people feel about you then you will never make the best decision for those involved.
Communication: As a leader you need to be able to communicate with people. You need to be able to cast vision and discern the information they need to have. The other area of communication that Dr. Brown pointed out is that you need to be able to listen well. If you can not listen well then you will not hear your people and be able to effectively lead them. By listening you learn what they need to be most effective and to be aligned with leadership.
This is great stuff men! Dr. Brown did a great job explaining what leadership is and giving us a plan to grow as a leader. Take the time to stay refreshed in the Lord so that you may maintain your character. Then do the work to maintain your competence in your field and in your skills to lead. Finally grow in your ability to cast vision and listen. There is so much to focus on as leaders but if you make these your primary three you will find great success.
Dr. Brown thank you for taking the time to share with us in order to help us grow as husbands, fathers and leaders.
Your Turn: What resources have you read or used to grow in anyone of these three areas? Or tell us what leadership is?