Great leaders - those that make their world a better place and inspire others to do the same - share common traits. Three notable characteristics are character, charisma and courage. From household names like Ghandi, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela to the Home CEO or the teacher at the local elementary, all of us can be great leaders when we positively impact those in our circle of influence, whether they be family members, colleagues, employees, friends, community members or students.
- Character - Character is the first criteria of good leadership because history has shown that many so-called "leaders" have been known to lead others to do bad things. That is not a real leader! Good character simply means having the desire and intention to grow more compassionate and loving in action, word and intention every day. We will never have "perfect" character but, luckily for us, perfect character is not a criteria! Simply having a spirit of conscientiousness, receptivity to learning and desire for evolving is all that is required. "Character" manifests itself as patience, self-control, honesty, kindness, fairness, justice-seeking and so forth.
- Charisma - People think of charisma as something possessed only by passionate orators or bold, extroverted individuals with very "public" ministries / activities, but indeed everyone has some area where they have a special interest and elevated excitement. I like to think of charisma as an area of interest that can also be expressed with a sense of freedom, with little or no self-consciousness. It is a feeling you have when you do something or inhabit some space that just "feels like home". A scientist passionately discussing his or her field of study is "in her element", a teacher filled with enthusiasm for her students can boldly and cheerfully greet her young ones without fear of reproach (as in "Ugh! She's too cheerful!"), a businesswoman with a special knack for closing key deals "assumes the sale", a PTA mom with the gift of coordinating inspires other parents and teachers to action, a fundraiser with the special intuition for communication and persuasion effortlessly connects people's natural interests with her cause. What is your area of charisma? You most likely know what it is, and if you are not sure, I'd bet you have an inkling! For me, I have a passion for organizing thoughts into the written word, being a cheerleader for the positive efforts of others, and advocating holistic healthy living.
- Courage - Courage can be defined as the decision to "do it afraid". If you feel prompted by your soul or spirit to take action in some area of passion but simultaneously feel nervous about it, be courageous and just do it! If you want to be extra cautious, then pray about it for a period of days or weeks (specifically ask for discernment of whether this is an appropriate calling and wisdom for your approach to it). If you still feel prompted, listen to your instincts and take action. The more action you take, the less fear you will have and you will connect with your area of charisma.
While good leaders possess character, charisma and courage, good leadership as a whole can be summed up in one word - love. The famous "love is" quote goes: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
While this definition is inspiring, it can also be intimidating because it seems simply too good to live up to. But luckily, again, we don't have to. In fact only one person can and did accomplish perfect love at all times, and that is history's most famous leader, the enigmatic "servant leader" Jesus, who is the only individual in history who was so powerful that he remained all of these things even in the midst of intense brutality. To receive that power, the only requirement is to simply believe that he still lives in spirit form and ask that spirit to indwell. (If it seems impossible, or even ludicrous, to believe this, simply ask for personal confirmation to be provided, and you will, in his timing, receive a special revelation in an awesome, inspiring way, custom-tailored to you!) Go boldly Home CEO and lead your family to victorious living!