In Psalm, 78, the psalmist describes King David’s reputation as a leader:
“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” Psalm 78:72 (NIV)
In one sentence here, I believe the Psalmist gives us the four foundational requirements of leadership.
“And David Shepherded them…”
Great leaders care about their sheep. Great shepherds watch over and protect the sheep. Great shepherds care about what happens to the sheep. Great leaders are close to their sheep, not back in a green room or back office separated from the sheep. Great shepherds don’t abuse their sheep. Great leaders recognize that we must love the sheep we lead. Great leaders lead with love and care.
“...with integrity of heart.”
Great leaders lead with integrity. Great leaders are the same backstage as they are on the big stage. Great leaders ask people to follow them because of who they are, not just because of what they say. Great leaders focus on what’s on the inside, not just what’s on the outside. Great leaders can be trusted. Great leaders lead with integrity.
“...with skillful hands he led them.”
Great leaders lead with skill. They practice. They prepare. They outwork everyone else. Great leaders master their craft. Great leaders are disciplined.They seek counsel and make wise decisions over time, and in doing so, they earn the right to lead. Great leaders are always learning and always growing. Great leaders read. Great leaders study. Great leaders have mentors and coaches. Great leaders recognize that the toughest person to lead is themselves. Great leaders lead with skill!
“...he led them.”
Great leaders lead with courage. Great leaders are out in front of the battle taking the hits with everyone else. Great leaders are willing to do the tough thing...the scary thing. Great leaders are willing to have courage conversations and make courageous calls. Great leaders are willing to speak the truth in love. Most organizations don’t grow because they’ve chosen not to. They have chosen to refuse to have the conversations and make the calls they know they need to make, to grow! Great leaders aren’t cowards. They are courageous.
Do you want to be a great leader? Care, Integrity, Skill, and Courage is the way. Today, are you willing to give yourself to the hard work of becoming a great shepherd and great leader?
By the way, my calling and skill is in coaching leaders and shepherding shepherds!
I would love to help you become the leader God wants you to be!
Interested? Drop me a line!