By Chad Hershberger
I believe it was a Lutheran Outdoor Ministries conference where I first heard about Walt Kallestad. One of the keynote speakers mentioned a book that he had written. It sounded good, so I bought The Everyday Anytime Guide to Christian Leadership.
The book really resonated with me. I liked his ideas and have used his book on more than one occasion to teach my summer staff his principles. The thing I liked most about his work was how he defined leadership. Ask ten people how they would define leadership and you will probably get ten different answers. Everyone most likely has an opinion on what good leadership is and what it means to be a leader.
What is your definition of leadership? What do you think makes a good leader? And who are some leaders that you admire and why?
As I define leadership, I think ideas, vision, and determination play an important role. And I think that leaders need to be opportunistic, taking advantage of items that present themselves a certain time and place. Walt Kallestad defines leadership in an acrostic:
- Love Unconditionally
- Envision the Future Exceptionally
- Affirm Continuously
- Discipline with Determination
- Energize Others Enthusiastically
- Risk Boldly
- Serve Selflessly
- Hope Relentlessly
- Imagine Immeasurably
- Pray Persistently
Take some time to look at some definitions, or maybe better “ideas,” about what leadership is. Read the follow statements and see what comes to your mind as you ponder how to define leadership.
- A leader has a focal point and sticks with it.
- A leader is committed to whatever it is that he or she is leading.
- A leader is willing to do anything they ask his or her followers to do.
- A leader is effective when they truly believe his or her own confessions.
- A leader enables change by influencing others to do things they otherwise would not do on their own.
- A leader takes his or her organization to new heights of success.
- A leader has faith in people and is sensitive to his or her followers.
- A leader just doesn’t say, “Get going.” He or she says, “Let’s go.”
- A leader uses his or her heart as well as his or her head.
- A leader is a self-starter, has a sense of humor, and sees the big picture.
As you ponder our topic of leadership, ponder these three quotes:
- “There is no limit to the good a human can do if they don’t care who gets the credit.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “A great leader never sets himself/herself above his/her followers, except in carrying out responsibilities.” —Jules Ormont
- “Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.” —Peter Druck