Optimism and pessimism are infectious and they spread more rapidly from the head downward than in any other direction.
The one quality that can be developed by studious reflection and practice is the leadership of men.
"A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish" [Isaiah 42:3]. The Lord's Servant would be sympathetic and understanding with the weak and erring. Failing men and women are often crushed under the callous tread of their fellowmen; but not so with the ideal Serfvant. He was to specialize in mending bruised reeds and fanning the smoking wick into flame.
Many, even Christian workers, ignore those who have failed and "pass by on the other side." They want a ministry more rewarding and more worthy of their powers--something more spectacular than bearing with the relapses and backslidings of frail humanity; but it is a noble work to reclaim those whom the world despises. How dimly Peter's wick burned in the judgment hall, but what a brilliant flame blazed on the day of Pentecost! His interview with God's ideal Servant put everything right.
It is noteworthy that only once did Jesus say that He was leaving His disciples an example, and that was when He washed their feet (John 13:15)--an example of servanthood. And only once did any other writer say that He had left an example--and that was an example of suffering (1 Peter 2:21). Thus the thoughts of suffering and servanthood are linked, even as they were in the life of the Lord. And is the servant greater than the Lord? [emphasis in the original]
One rapidly developing trend is a style of authoritative leadership that is neither biblical nor beneficial. It was in awareness of this trend that I wrote: "True spiritual leadership is authoritative, but not authoritarian." Authoritative because it commands the sanction of Scripture and secures the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, but not authoritarian in the sense of exercising an undue influence on the decisions and life-style of other believers. The leader must be careful not to usurp the responsibilities that are rightly theirs, to be exercised under the lordship of Christ.
Inherent in such an authoritarian attitude is the danger that the leader, while sincerely seeking greater "spiritual" power in his ministry, may almost imperceptibly drift into the habit of exercising a "political" influence over those who look to him for guidance. This easily leads to manipulation or a dictating of a behavioral pattern that usurps the authority of the Head of the Church, grieves the Holy Spirit, and robs the believer of his personal right of decision-making.
Leadership requires balance in our lives.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
Force has no place where there is need of skill.
Out of every 100 men, ten shouldn't even be there,
Eighty are just targets,
Nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle.
Ah, but the one,
One is a warrior,
And he will bring the others back.