The Captain's Ship
Last night I had an unusual dream (well for my standard of dreaming). I do like to take note of out the ordinary ones because it puts some crazy idea in my head to help me move forwards. I had a dream that I was taking a group of people on a boat to an a destination and they were dependent on me to get them there safely. Everything was so calm because I felt so certain….. I could pin point where we were going, why we were going and how we were going to get there. It was such a peaceful dream. It was quite pivotal for me because I rarely dream like that - usually I don't 'dream' or remember them or they are so chaotic, I get a little overwhelmed.
Then this morning, that dream came to mind again. And it made me really think about the concept of leadership. Yep, you read correctly, leadership. I understand some of you read this and think, "What's this woman going to tell me about leadership? She isn't in a leadership position? She's young and inexperienced…. what does she know? Well I'll be honest, I don't really know that much! But….. I can tell you what I look for in a leader from a follower perspective. What is it about a leader that makes me certain that I committing myself to the correct path! And really, without people who listen and follow great leaders, the task will either fall on it's face or never be truly complete! So this is what I look for when I want someone to lead me:
1. A certainty of who they are as a person and their aspirations.
2. A solid grasp of the bigger picture.
3. A certainty of where the ship is steering. Or if they don't know, they are actively resolving that.
4. Has skills in their area they are leading, but are always open to learn more.
5. Experience AND WISDOM through those experiences.
6. Confidently displays authority.
7. Wants what's best for their team.
8. Can be trusted and not feared.
9. Can keep a cool head, but knows how to cool off when things get heated.
10. Finds that amazing balance between being nurturing and setting challenges.
11. Doesn't take things personally when negative situations arise.
12. Listens to ideas and feedback and never wants to be stagnant with progress.
I work under so many people that display these characteristics both through work and ministry and it fills me with so much confidence that I can feel safe, loved and nurtured when I work under these people. It makes me excited to go to work, to participate in Worship, and to study. It teaches me to be a more influential person and a better role model for my daughter. I can go to these people and feel safe that they aren't going to cut me down or make me feel worthless. I can go to these people with ideas and they will listen (even if they aren't the best ones at the time). I can go to these people for wisdom in situations that I have never experienced and want influence. I never feel fear around them because they only want what's best for everyone. Their motives are honourable and NEVER selfish. I am naturally drawn to great leadership because I want to mirror their actions and it gives me a stronger desire to serve. It also teaches me to be better and grow with their vision and purpose.
So if you are feeling inspired by someone that is leading you, take the time to thank them. Sometimes they might think they are alone on that ship. But if they know that others look up to them and believe in them, it gives them a new strength and certainty to keep steering the ship down the right path.