Life Thoughts: Leadership and Being Alone

Leadership is being Christ’s disciple for it costs a lot. Sanders gives us a rundown of things that a leader experiences. And I think that he nails each one. As he said, leadership is “to be willing to pay a price higher than others are willing to pay.”[1] I can relate very much to how he discussed loneliness.

Sanders points out that leaders are always ahead of his followers. He sees all that the followers are yet to experience, may it be good or bad. He tests the waters first. He goes under fire first. He faces the people first. And this can be very lonely especially when there is no one to guide the leader, all but himself, God’s guidance, and sometimes, gut feel. I have experienced this so many times. Because being a leader means that I should place other people’s welfare first than mine, at the end of the day no one stands by for me. There are times that even though I am broken and exhausted, I should still face the people, smile, and lead. For a leader, there is no other choice, especially when they look to no one else but me. Indeed it is lonely. Anderson, Hayford and Patterson puts this cost of leadership exactly:

Sometimes, the loneliness of leadership means I feel the heavy weight of decision making—a weight nobody else can carry for me. Sometimes the loneliness of leadership makes me wonder if somebody painted a bull’s eye on my forehead. Sometimes it even gives me a kind of glorious feeling, like, “Gee, here I am, battered and bleeding, sharing the sufferings of Christ; ain’t I wonderful?”

But usually, I find that the loneliness of leadership leaves me wondering, “Where did everybody go?”[2]

Sanders closes this by saying that “the leader must be a person who, while welcoming the friendship and support of all who offer it, has sufficient inner resources to stand alone.”[3] And as leaders, we should stand on God and His promises. We are not truly alone!

 

[1] Sanders, J. Oswald, Spiritual Leadership, (Mandaluyong, Philippines: OMF Literature Inc., 1997), 149.

[2] Leith Anderson, Jack W. Hayford and Ben Patterson, Who’s in Charge? : Standing Up to Leadership Pressures, Mastering ministry’s pressure points (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1993), 155.

 

[3] Sanders, 154.

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