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The true leader

Leadership has been described as the process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. This may not be the definition that many of us think of when the word leader is mentioned. Many times when the word leader is used, one often thinks of the person that is said to be in charge. With the above mentioned definition, the term servant leader may possibly come to mind.

During the past several months I have had the opportunity to participate in the Leadership Hartselle Class of 2012. Sixteen members participated in this class along with Susan Hines and Catlin Vest with the Hartselle Chamber of Commerce, serving as leaders of the group. This has been an interesting as well as productive time. This group was able to interact and get to know each other on a more personal basis. Even though many of the participants knew each other you were able to gain new insight into the job each one performs as well as other activities of interest to each person. This act of learning about fellow members of a group will enable any task at hand to be performed in a much more productive manner.

In terms of being a leader in our city or community, one must know the makeup of the people who make up the community as well as how to gain their support to help your community grow and prosper. The members of this class were introduced to those who make up our police and fire departments, utilities, school system, civic clubs, local organizations and others who make up our community and who also have a sphere of influence on the community. Ironically, most who shared information about their particular area never failed to explain that their success comes from those with whom they work. Hence we move back to the term servant leader. Without the help and support of those one works with, whether in a paid position or volunteer, very little can be accomplished.

Jesus himself made this very clear in his ministry. He chose 13 very unlikely people to serve as his disciples. However, knowing he had a short time to offer salvation, he gained the support of not only those 13 but other followers by showing that being a true leader means putting another’s needs above your own. By following His example of a servant leader, you stand to gain the support of your fellow workers as well as accomplish tasks, which will reap benefits for all involved.