Contrary to popular opinion, not all people in leadership positions are leaders. So how do we tell if we are serving under true leaders or just people with a leadership title?
This seems pretty obvious. But, the term leader implies that you are going to a destination and that people are following you there. Often, this leads to difficulty. Many people don’t like to be led, and they don’t like change.
This factor of discomfort often teaches non-leaders to either maintain (never change) or regress. Leaders lead. If the going is uphill, you’re probably with a leader. If the going seems too easy, it probably is. You’re probably under someone that just has a title.
Leaders have a vision.
Tying into the last point, leaders are going places. They know what they need their area of influence or ministry to do, and they set that into place. They set mission statements, values, goals, and milestones. They are always looking forward. Non-leaders are usually just trying to get from point A to point B, while leaders are trying to go from point A through point B in order to continue forward.
Leaders lead in accordance with that vision.
Leaders don’t pander to preferences. They don’t try to make everyone happy (and for that, I am glad). Just like the parent that doesn’t give their child everything they want, a good leader will ensure that people are getting what they need. Leaders lead to the vision. Non-leaders lead to the overall happiness level.
Leaders lead spiritually.
Leaders make sure they are praying for the people that are serving. They are comfortable giving and receiving spiritual advice. They encourage their team to work on their spirituality and give them help. If your “leader” isn’t doing that, they may not be a true or strong leader.
Leaders attack problems.
Leaders don’t sweep problems under the rug. They admit their failings and they attack the problems that arose in order to defeat them next time. They also will face “people problems.”
Non-leaders run away from conflict or go straight to appeasing every party involved. Leaders make sure the right thing is done, no matter how uncomfortable it is.