|Chris Lowney says this: “Leadership is the ability to point out the way and to influence others toward it.” We are always having an effect on others by the way we deal with them. Example is not the main thing in influencing others…IT IS THE ONLY THING! Do you think of yourself as a leader? If not, you’d better start. You are leading well or poorly all the time, by the influence you are having, first on your family, then on friends, neighbors, colleagues at work, students, clients, patients, teammates, whatever the case may be.”
If someone shadowed you for a week, what priorities/values would they say you are modeling? As we begin Mission and Heritage Week we look to St. Francis and his influence as leader.
We know the story of Francis and the voice he heard early on: “Francis, don’t you see that my house is being destroyed? Go, then, and rebuild it for me.” Stunned and trembling, he responded, “I will do so gladly, Lord.” Francis was filled with joy and became so radiant with light over that message, that he knew in his soul that it was truly Christ who spoke to him. Responding with a literalness that would always characterize his spirituality, Francis threw himself into the task at hand. (Even Noah could not have been a more fervent builder.) This Little Poor Man, divested of his wardrobe, his parents and his admiring friends, rushed from one construction site to another, repairing churches with the zeal of an ambitious pastor.
In doing so Francis realized that the rebuilding process had to include the transformation of his heart, his inner self. He spent his life transforming his heart so as to follow Jesus. In so doing he gave evidence to some of the important characteristics of good leadership. There was an honesty in all he did. With Christ on his side, he was confident and was able to inspire others. Look at the many who followed him. No one would question his commitment and passion as he went about preaching and doing good. Francis always set a good example for his followers.
Yes, Francis was a leader. Yes, you are a leader. What personal qualities do you bring to the “leadership table?” Use them wisely.