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I have been thinking a lot about leaders and leadership lately. Several things have happened recently and I have witnessed a leader’s negative reaction to things that they learned people felt they should be doing.

It seems that “leader” has become a buzzword with no real meaning. When a leader is given advice or ideas regarding how to act in that role and how to treat those below them, many are quick to say, “But what about them? (meaning those below them) They have should be doing things too!” and they become deaf to the advice, losing their credibility as leaders.

They don’t get it. They don’t get it at all.

Sometimes you just have to listen if you want to be an effective leader. Sometimes you just have to listen to and accept the advice and even criticism that will make you a more effective leader.

Sometimes you just have to stop worrying about what they are doing and think about what you are doing. You are the head, the one in power, the one they are looking to for guidance.

It has to start somewhere and it should start with you.

It seems that to some, leadership is just a title, a position of power, but they do not want to assume certain “gritty” responsibilities that come with it, particularly when it comes to those below them.

When you are placed into a leadership position or when you assume that position, there are certain things that come with it. True, everyone on all levels should be held to certain standards of conduct, but if you carry the title, there is a certain amount of responsibility that is yours and yours alone. You can’t expect those beneath you to assume those particular roles.

True, in a sense we are all leaders, but every team, every organization has to have a head. There has to be one person or several people who set the tone, set the example, for the rest to follow. It is only then that all of the leaders can adequately carry out their duties, whatever they may be.

Now, I am not just talking about leadership in an organization, although there are managers, directors, supervisors and team leaders, but within the family there is what is usually the husband and father (I know in some families that is different). In the church, we have the pastor, Sunday school teachers and various pastors. Even in the Kingdom of God, Christians are called to leadership positions simply because of our faith.

Some people, in fact, probably many people, carry dual leadership roles. They may be a husband at home, a manager at work and a Christian. Three distinct leadership roles, three very important responsibilities and three ways that he is called to set an example and set the tone for others to follow.

What souls are YOU responsible and how many are still lost?

It is important to keep in mind that there are certain responsibilities that are associated with leadership positions, each within its own context. The leader of an organization should set an example for the subordinates to follow, even if they exist in an environment where everyone is empowered to be leaders – there still must be a head. The leader of a family must be careful to set a good example for his children and wife to follow and even the wife must set a good example for her daughters by being submissive to her husband and allowing him to lead her. As Christians, we must all set good examples for not only other Christians, but also for the lost souls in the world.

Yes, everyone should do their part and everyone should do certain things to uphold the mission of the entity, be it business, family, church or Kingdom of God. However, as a leader (those specifically placed in the leadership position as the head), it is your JOB, your RESPONSIBILITY, to set an example for those you are leading and who are looking to you for guidance. You should set the bar for conduct, how they should act and what they should do.

If you aren’t doing it yourself, how can you expect those looking to you for guidance to do it?