Over the years in leadership I have come to see that there are at least 3 steps every leader must take. These “stepping stones” are the three things I feel sets leaders apart from all others who simply desire leadership but remain followers.
1) Step Up.
There is no question that this is a key element of leadership. A leader must take the lead. There has to be a point in each person’s life when they decide to be a leader or a follower. Whether it’s through circumstance, incidence, or simple choice those who would be and are leaders have to step up. Learning to take the lead and leading well is a process that begins when the individual steps up into a position or role. Moving into leadership makes qualities like initiative, motivation, passion, drive, and courage not only desirable but necessary. A person will not step up without these kind of characteristics at work in their lives.
2) Step In.
Not all leaders are people who have prominent positions, however. Just because a person is not out “front” doesn’t mean they are not leaders. Leaders are people who step in and do what needs to be done. People who lead from within an organization without having to be first are people who have found a great sense of security and personal identity that is not bound by position or title. I heard it said once that real leadership is about being able to “give your best without being first”. People who are real leaders have confidence in others, security within themselves and trust in God’s calling and timing in all things. Great leaders step in when they are needed and they serve well all the time regardless of the role, position or audience.
3) Step Out.
The mark of a truly great leader is one who has the ability to let go and let God and others work. A leader doesn’t have to do it all and understands their own limitations. They step out of the way and let God provide, move and reveal Himself. Sometimes the best thing a leader can do is step out of the way so that God can be God! Faith and leadership must go hand-in-hand: God calls leaders to step out in faith and assume leadership and then He expects those same leaders to step out of the way and let Him reveal the way.
Are there some areas of your life where you need to “step it up”?
Are there some areas in your church where you could step up to the plate and serve or become more involved?
Are things in your home all that they could be? How can you step up and fulfill your role better?
How can you step in and make a difference at work, school, or church in someone’s situation or life?
In what ways has God given you awareness that He wants you to step in and contribute to a cause or need?
Have you been getting in God’s way?
How is God wanting you to “step out” of a situation and simply commit it to prayer?
How is God challenging your faith these days with His leadership and plan?