Leadership in Crisis

I am extremely disturbed as I bear witness the global landscape of who society considers leaders. Having a seat of power or a title does not automatically qualify you as an authentic leader. Just as wearing a power suit does not guarantee your motives are pure or ethical either. Herein lies the dilemma of this leadership crisis we are facing.

Most of the people that we call leaders today are not true authentic leaders. They define their leadership based on a position, title, status, power, or the amount of people that follow them. Many also look to the outside appearance or how articulate their speech is as qualification enough. However, none of this is how true authentic leadership is defined, for leadership is very subtle.

The issue boils down to this: if you don’t know what something authentically looks like, then you can’t determine what it is truly suppose to be. Society’s philosophy and false concept of leadership is the root of the problem as to why we cannot find true leaders. 

Traditional Leadership Philosophy

Before we can understand what it means to become an authentic leader, we must assess the current philosophy that has been accepted by humanity and take a look at what true authentic leadership is not. Therefore it is imperative to understand the traditional leadership philosophy that is still in effect today. This illegitimate philosophy states that: 

Leadership is about controlling and imposing one’s will on others.

Leadership is the management of people.
Leadership is superior to followers. This is why it is so dangerous to promote certain people 

Leadership is served by followers, and that it is measured by how many followers that you have. 

Leadership is cultivating and manipulating the fear of others. These individuals are nothing but professional manipulators. They force things to go their way with ulterior motives. It is an oppressive spirit in operation where they withhold from you in order to manipulate you. They work on your emotions with their words.

True leadership is contrary to these elements. A true leader is focused on serving ones’ gift for the sake of humanity. For authentic leadership is not measured by how many people serve you, but by how many people you serve. Unfortunately, the majority of many are focused on self-preservation or the next election.  When you spend your life living for others, you will never die. You will live beyond the grave, through your legacy. Meaning your leadership impact will outlive you. True authentic leadership is not about control, but about service. It is not about power, but about empowerment. Most people say, ‘Oh, that’s a powerful leader, look how he dresses and addresses the crowds’. This is the problem because a true leader instead has people saying, ‘He empowered me to become myself and serve my greatness’. True leadership is not about manipulation, but about inspiration. Inspiring others is the highest form of leadership. 

Authentic leadership is not about people, but about purpose. It has more to do with pursuing oneself rather than being pursued by others. True leadership is becoming, more than doing. When you have discovered something about yourself, in the process of becoming oneself – you inspire others. That is when people submit to the vision you have. This generation needs leaders who can plan, who can make tough decisions, leaders that inspire others and not manipulate them, leaders who respond to change, and those who are honorable and have character.

Regarding politics, as Dr. Myles Munroe stated, “We do not need more politicians in leadership. We need more leaders in politics.” Many politicians are power hungry. Too many lack self-esteem and have a poor self-concept. We cannot naively believe because someone is given the title of a politician that they are an authentic leader. The current political system that we have produces politicians rather than true authentic leaders. Politicians are mostly concerned about their next election. This is why they are not truly manifesting their leadership. Their concern is about staying in power instead of serving the people. However, true leaders are concerned about the next generation, rather than the next election.

Now that we have reviewed what true authentic leadership is not, its time to take a look at the role of true authentic leaders: 

  • They provide vision.
They transfer the vision to others. 
They build and empower their team towards results. 

  • They manage priorities.
They manage people’s giftings.

  • They must possess values and cultivate a high standard of moral ethics. Never trust a visionary without any values.

This leads us to the original philosophy of leadership, which can be found in the first book of Moses. Every human was created to lead and designed for dominion. Leadership potential resides in every individual. You were born to lead, but you must become a leader. True leadership is about self-manifestation. It is about manifesting who you truly are and born to become. Therefore, the purpose of true leadership is not in maintaining followers but in becoming the leader that you were created to be and in turn empowering others as they embark on their own leadership potential, purpose, and destiny. As Dr. Myles Munroe stated, “Trapped in every follower is a hidden leader”.

Leadership is not the pursuit of power, position, title, or authority. What you need is a self-actualization of who you are. You need to spend some time with yourself, by yourself, because if you are around too many people who don’t know who they are, they can cloud you from discovering who you authentically were born to become.
True leaders are more concerned with expressing themselves than proving themselves. Leadership is not only about the ability; but more importantly having the proper mentality. When you serve your ability and have the right mentality, that is when you become a true authentic leader. This is why it is vital that you discover who you are. Your ability to lead depends on your attitude that is produced by your self-image, your self-worth, and your self-esteem.

True authentic leadership is the discovery of self and then serving yourself to your generation. When you know the truth of who you are, why you are here, and what you were born to do, and then you serve what you have discovered to humanity, with the right mentality, you are a leader. Now you will have discovered your area of leadership dominion. You have authentic leadership potential built inside of you, however it is only manifested when you discover who you are and you operate in your domain.

Excerpt taken from Trista Sue Kragh’s Authentic Leadership e-course, which is available for anyone looking to discover their area of authentic leadership domain.
The School of Influence for Agents of Change is an e-course is available for anyone looking to pinpoint their purpose and document their life vision. Decide to live an intentional, fulfilling life by serve your gift to your generation.