Monday, June 13, 2005

Born to lead - Leadership foundations

I'm reading through Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur. In his chapter on Peter he spends some time considering whether leaders are born or made. I like a quote I have heard John Maxwell say, "I've never met a leader who wasn't born!"
MacArthur suggests that while leaders must develop their skills and gifts to be truly great leaders there are three basic characteristics that are at the foundation of all great leaders - embedded in their character from birth.
1. Inquisitiveness - always asking questions, always wanting to know "why?", "how?", "what for?".
2. Initiative - makes things happen, doesn't wait for others to get the ball rolling but runs ahead of the pack.
3. Involvement - doesn't like to watch, lives in the middle of the action and loves it.

Peter had all three of these qualities.
Due to his inquisitive nature, he asked more questions of Jesus than anyone (and got rebuked more than anyone!)
Because of his initiative, he jumped out of the boat first to walk to Jesus, spoke up when asked "who do yo
u say that I am?" and preached the first sermon after Pentecost!
His desire to be involved lead him to the presence of Jesus many times. He was one of two disciples in the courtyard where Jesus was being accused. All the other disciples has already abandoned Christ, but Peter was still close enough to Jesus to see the pain in his eyes when Jesus looked into Peters soul as the cock crowed.

The part of this chapter that affected me the most - stopped me in my tracks actually - was a quote that I had never heard before. It was in the middle of a paragraph, almost an aside...

"As the familiar saying goes, it is much easier to tone down a fanatic than to resurrect a corpse."

This may be a familiar saying to many, but to me it is a new one. And it is a place to stop and think for a spell... It makes sense. But it requires patience. A fanatic would already be a person accustomed to action - they just need some more water in their soup and a fair bit of clear direction and strong leadership... But... I LIKE IT!

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