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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Leadership and Fru-fru Pageants

I want to give everyone a crash course in leadership and it won't cost you a dime (donations are appreciated, however):

1. Speak with clearly and with authority;
2. Showcase a talent;
3. Have posture, poise and grace.

Do these and you will find yourself as a leader. If you aren't, then at least you are eligible for the next Fru-fru Pageant.

The subject of leadership is on the brink of becoming "trite" because the philosophy of self-exaltation puts everyone in the drivers' seat. Everyone wants to be in charge. Leadership is made out to be a right, so leadership is a position everyone qualifies for. But does everyone qualify?

What are the character traits of a leader?

It can't be eloquence because Moses couldn’t speak so God appointed Aaron as his mouthpiece. If eloquence was required why wasn't Aaron mentioned more than Moses in scripture or all of history? The only times Aaron seems to receive any direct mention, there is trouble. Hitler could speak clearly, authoritatively and with eloquence . . .

It can't be talent either. If it were then all those people in Guinness Book of World Records should be more public than they are. Look at who our leaders are today: current and former “Not Yet Ready for Prime-Time Players” from Saturday Night Live; musicians; actors and actresses. Did you see who the poster boy for the latest anti-drug campaign is? Chris Farley, who died a few years back of drug overdose. His picture will be plastered on billboards across America, starting with the one nearest the hotel where John Belushi died. Sadly, nobody will drop their bong when “Tommy Boy” comes on TBS again . . . Nevertheless, these are the faces you see as spokesmen, advocates, model participants in whatever cause they can catch with the media eye. What do they advocate most strongly? Clearly, inconsistency. That which they “act” is not in agreement with what they support. Watch how children are now being used for their “cause.”

Posture, poise and grace. Who comes to mind here . . . lessee . . . Bill Clinton still seems to top the cake for the latest Rico Suave. (He’s also eloquent and quite talented, too—he can juggle truth—with his eyes closed and both hands behind his back!). Look at the top of anything corporate and you will find a man or woman who can strike a pose! Or a swim-suit model. How do the less-than-picture-perfect-people do it? They work on their social image! They are their own advocates. They look for opportunity. They baffle with brilliance and blind with . . . well, you get the idea.

Today’s leadership is a “safe” leadership: gather around you people who are going the same direction, agree with your goals and see your visions. Today’s leadership is self-worship, idolatry. It is always after more, higher, stronger, louder, longer. Don’t believe me? We can now say that lettuce is “new and improved!” Be looking for it on your store shelves! Somebody dreamed it and made it happen. 20 years ago it was a joke.

When it comes down to it, a true leader has something nobody else has: God’s hand on his or her life. I think a true leader is one who does not try to serve God as if the creator were lacking anything that only he could provide (like he was man’s gift to divinity); rather, a true leader is one who shuts himself down, moves himself aside and is fully open to be used as God desires—to the praise of His glory (like he was God’s gift to mankind—literally).

(to be continued)

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