To lead to have some sense of where we are going, and then to invite others to come go with us. We cannot lead without vision. But vision doesn’t mean we have to figure out everything along the way.
To be sure, leadership is not a passive role. We’re not leading when we’re just keeping everyone happy and doing what others expect us to do. Nor is leadership simply about admiring past accomplishments. However great these might be, and beneficial to learn from, we cannot get to where we’re going by reliving past glories.
Leaders actively guide others toward a future destination by having a compelling vision of what’s possible. All the same, wise leaders also surround themselves with an intentional team. And this can start from the very beginning in adopting our vision.
For instance, like Paul, we might invite our family or those within the realm of our influence to follow us as we follow Christ. While this is not our original vision, we’re intentionally adopting it as a key feature in our leadership. As such, we don’t have to be a visionary per se to be a leader. We still need a vision, but this vision might be one we’ve thoughtfully considered and adopted from elsewhere.
Likewise, there’s often a lot of details and planning to get from here to there. And like the different players on a team or specialists in the military, we also need many different talents, gifts, and abilities to accomplish our mission. For example, while we might have a vision for our family, we must still rely on our wife and many others in our village to work out the logistics of making this vision a reality.
All too often we’ve neglected our call to leadership and diminished our impact because we don’t feel we have what it takes.
But, in the end, leadership is simply developing an eye for God’s best and inviting others to join you as you move in this direction. Lead with courage according to the vision God has given you.