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  • Don Railey

The Cost of Leadership


By definition, "Leadership is Influence" --- and everybody has influence! But we all know that not everybody is called upon to stand at the front of the class -- to stand on top of the hill -- to sit in the board room at the head of the table -- to stand in the pulpit and speak to the congregation, bearing the title of "Pastor" - to stand in front of the musicians, and be called "worship leader."

Leadership has many levels -- and with each level there is a price to pay. There are no "free lunches" in leadership. There are times in the life of a leader that is seems lonely. But remember that there is a COST to leadership.

There's a passage in Luke 12:48 that states (New Living Translation), "...when someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required."

I like the way the Contemporary English Version reads of this verse, "... if God has been generous with you, He will expect you to serve Him well. But if He has been more than generous, He will expect you to serve Him even better."

This passage indicates:

(1) Higher gifts and talents -- we are not all alike -- fact is there is only ONE of me -- and only ONE of you -- but we all have different gifts, abilities, talents, and skills. In leadership, there are many who have different skill-sets and abilities. This verse is telling us that some do receive more than others. Nothing wrong with that -- it's just a fact of life.

(2) Higher standards -- obviously you will be judged by the standard that matches your skill-set. One cannot judge or expect more from one who has less. That's just not fair. Sometimes people will complain that people look at them differently -- or perhaps they "invade" their privacy -- well, in leadership, one of the costs of that position of influence is that you may not get to do what you want, when you want to do it.

(3) Higher accountability - people will expect more from those who have been given more --- if I have a degree in a certain field of study, people will expect me to know certain things -- to act in a certain way --- it's just the facts of life. Often, leaders will complain that other leaders around them are not being held to the same level of scrutiny -- that's the price of leadership.

Leaders are Visionaries!

They are the one who see before others do --- and lead from that vision or dream. The Side effects (or down side) of this: (1) Visionaries are often the target of criticism by lesser people who just don't see it (yet). If you don't want a "target" on your back - you probably won't last as an upfront leader.(2) Visionaries are often misunderstood -- and if you as a leader always operate out of your emotions, you'll be up and down -- you'll be hosting a 'pity-party' often -- sometimes you have to just understand the cost -- pay the price -- and throw back your shoulders, lift your head - and lead!

How do you know your "dream" or "vision" is really a God-thing?

(1) If your dream is bigger than you -- you may have a God-dream

(2) If your dream is not readily accepted by your peers -- you may have a God-dream

(3) If your dream is being challenged -- you may have a God-dream

(4) If your dream scares you -- yet at the same time excites you -- you may have a God-dream

Question of the Day for YOU --- Are you ready to Pay the High Cost for Leadership?

You do have a choice! You can pay -- or play! If you don't pay -- your leadership will wane, and before long -- you'll look to see that nobody is following anymore! Be encouraged! Dare to Lead!


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