“Appoint for yourselves wise, understanding, and respected men from
each of your tribes, and I will make them your leaders.”
– Deuteronomy 1:13
We know leaders are good at what they do, but how do they get that way? Is there such a thing as a born leader or do great leaders learn how to lead over a period of time? I’m pretty sure we can find the answer in this quote from the legendary Paul W. “Bear” Bryant. “I’m just a plow hand from Arkansas, but I have learned over the years how to hold a team together—how to lift some men up, how to calm down others, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat, together, a team.” What this tells me is that leadership skills can be developed and improved over time. There is no question that Bear Bryant was a great leader and teacher. His coaching tree is still bearing fruit.
What are some of the traits that made Coach Bryant such a great leader? He would outwork anybody and was eager to learn. He learned how to delegate, yet everyone knew he was the boss. He was willing to change with the times and was not hesitant to make tough decisions. He genuinely cared about his players and it showed. He embraced his role as mentor and teacher. He was a great salesman, but also a great listener. The Bible tells of many people who were placed in roles of leadership. Some were very successful and others fell woefully short of what they could have been. The difference maker was often their relationship with God. If God was at the center, their leadership was effective. If the leader became self-centered, his effectiveness suffered. It’s imperative that we put God out front of all we do and pray that our efforts will have eternal significance.
Heavenly Father, help me to be the leader You have called me to be. May I work like all depends on me and pray like all depends on You. Amen.