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Leadership in 4 Words

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Leadership is a complex subject that requires a lifetime of continued learning. It requires constant practice, learning from mistakes and the willingness to take risks.

Leadership is influence. It is about inspiring people to a purpose that results ultimately in their best interest, both here on earth, and for eternity.

Thousands of books have been written on leadership, but if I had the assignment to teach leadership in four words, here’s what they would be.

Heart -> Connect -> Trust -> Follow

These four words provide a foundation for relationally based leadership that when connected to a vision, will serve any leader well.

Here’s a summary.

If you lead with your heart, people can connect with you. If people connect with you, they will trust you, and if they trust you, they will follow you.

Now read the summary again with the reverse perspective for even greater clarity and insight.

People will not follow anyone they do not trust. They cannot trust someone they don’t connect with, and they can’t connect with someone with whom they cannot find their heart.

This is obviously not a comprehensive approach to leadership, however, the concepts and principles embedded within these four words, in the order they are placed, serve as a clear and tested primer for leadership. If we focus on the simple but timeless insights, they help us avoid mistakes, focus on character, and improve in skill.

Let’s break it down.

Leadership in 4 Words

Heart

All leadership begins at a heart level. This is not meant to be a complex thought. It’s not lofty or ethereal. Leading from the heart is nothing more and nothing less than being yourself and caring about people.

Leading from the heart requires that you are self aware. It’s important that you know who you are, how God wired you, and His purpose for you.

Leading from the heart requires that you can rise above your fears and insecurities. We all have them. The thing that sets you apart as a leader is whether those fears and insecurities manage you or you manage them. Successful leaders acknowledge fear and insecurity but work hard to rise above them. In time, both can be greatly minimized.

This allows you to become comfortable with who you are, and find your strength in God rather than in pleasing people through performance.

Connect

When you are comfortable being you, the real you, people will like you best. Like I’ve written before, not everyone will like you, but they enjoy you most when you are authentic. This allows genuine connection to take place.