Leadership. That word possesses a million thoughts in a second. What is leadership? Is it an office? Is it a position? Many people wear labels of leadership who possess no leadership qualities. I have witnessed men in leadership do more damage than good, and I have watched men become leaders over a workplace and totally disintegrate the morale of his employees. There is a misguided mentality regarding leadership; leadership is not built around authority. Leadership can not be viewed as a monarchy! Many people in leadership will attempt to prove their leadership abilities by flexing their muscles. Perhaps Ken Blanchard identified true leadership when he stated “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”
There is a commission within the call of leadership to be more than a figure of authority.
“Leadership is influence.”
Influence. What is influence? According to the online dictionary influence simply means; the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
Influence simply is the ability to develop people. Much is made of the great leaders of scripture, and I could write an extensive blog chronicling the lives of Moses and David to name a few. However I want to focus on what I feel to be the pressing need in leadership today, influence.
In the book of Esther we find a broke young girl named Hadassah. Orphaned after a tragedy, Mordecai, her uncle, brings her into his home. Hadassah isn’t given much hope to succeed, and the unfortunate reality of our day is this girl would quickly be labeled and isolated. Her name literally meant myrtle tree. Myrtle trees are unique, they are able to grow in stony soil, they blossom in the wilderness and in deserts. Her parents named her Hadassah knowing this girl would endure rocky moments. But even in the rocky terrain she would still grow!
But as Mordecai begins to invest in this girl, he realizes that her identity is in her name! Yes it validated her uncanny strength to overcome and persevere, but it also imprisoned her to her past! And there are many people who sit on a pew every Sunday who have overcome perilous upbringings, and have persevered through tragedy. But their life is defined by their past. Regardless of how much I overcome, I’m still panted in rocky soil! I may have grown when nobody believed I would, I may have blossomed when everyone else wrote me off, but the truth is I’m still in the wilderness!
So Mordecai being the man God entrusted to lead this fragile young child makes a bold decision to change her name. HE told her you will no longer be called Hadassah, but your name will now be Esther! What Mordecai was saying here is crucial for every leader to grasp.
Hadassah, you are rare. You’ve come so far since I found you! You’ve more than handled adversity, you’ve prospered when others would’ve have shriveled and died. I applaud your courage for even attempting to make something of your life after all you’ve been through. But Hadassah the time has come to move on with your life! Don’t lose your strength and don’t lose your courage! But let’s change your perspective!
You see every time She heard her name, Hadassah, she was reminded of the past. So Mordecai said you will no longer be identified as a myrtle tree, but you will be identified as Esther, which means a star! You’ve made it a long way! But now it’s time to get your eyes off of your past and to focus your passion to your future!
Without a “leader” in her life Hadassah would’ve remained the girl who overcame tragedy! But because a man of influence believed in her, Esther became Queen!
Be a leader of influence in your world!