Last week, we opened up this short series on leadership with the crucial question: "What is leadership?"
If the teachings of Jesus (especially in Mark 10) can clarify for us what leadership is (hint: serving); then maybe Dwight Schrute can help us understand what leadership is not.
For those of you not familiar with the popular television show, The Office, one of the central characters is a very ambitious and relationally clueless employee named Dwight. His greatest ambition in life is to be a loyal employee of Dunder Mifflin, a small paper company, and to eventually replace his boss, Michael Scott, as the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin's small Scranton office.
Since Michael enjoys Dwight's loyalty and above-and-beyond service, he creates a title for Dwight: "assistant to the regional manager." However, throughout the show, Dwight regularly drops the preposition "to" and simply refers to himself as the "assistant regional manager." This is usually when Michael is gone and Dwight is trying to pull rank on his colleagues in the office. As one might expect, no one is ever persuaded to follow Dwight's lead when he starts his sentences with "As assistant regional manager, I order you to ..." In fact, Dwight's power grabs are always countered with sarcasm and never taken seriously by his coworkers.
Because leadership is not position or title.
Some of the best leaders I have met over the years did not (at least at the time) have a leadership position or title in the organization that they were serving. But they acted like leaders anyway. It's not that they were presumptuous or insubordinate. What made them leaders was that they took initiative to serve and solve problems, and others saw their example and decided to follow.
Do you want to be a leader?
Then take initiative and start serving. Lead by example and others will follow. It's that simple. You will never become a leader if you wait for someone to give you a title, a salary, a budget, a staff, an office and a website.
You can start leading wherever you are right now.
NOTE: This blog was adapted from my new book, The Multiplication Challenge. For more discussion on leadership and service, check out Chapter 2, entitled, "How to Act Like a Leader."
Steve Murrell serves as the president of Every Nation Churches and Ministries, a ministry that does church planting and campus ministry in over 70 nations.
This article originally appeared at stevemurrell.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.
The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.