Know, Go, Show

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." (John C. Maxwell)

Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side—leaders whose decrees permit injustice? (Psalm 94:20)

The more we attempt to justify 'bad leadership' in any form, the more we will slip into all manner of injustice, impurity, and unwholesomeness. How is it possible for a leader to create such a mess in the lives of so many? Easy - people get behind the leader because of charisma or popularity, without even looking deeper into the integrity of the leader's heart. Unjust leaders might declare that God is on their side, but when the heart of a man has never really submitted to the authority and leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ, he is charismatic at best. As Maxwell points out, a leader with integrity will not only know the way to walk, but he will also consistently go that way, and is able to show others how to find that way themselves. 

To know, one must be exposed to truth. This is the first great trait of a leader of integrity. He is not walking in his own devices but has placed truth at the forefront of his mind, allowing it to affect all his actions. Leaders are called upon to learn a great many things, but I daresay the greatest 'learning' that can be done is done while his Bible is open, his heart is in tune with God's, and his ears are attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in his life. Perhaps the making of a great leader begins in the quietness of his own time alone with Jesus, but that 'alone time' overflows into all he does as he goes throughout his day.

To go, one must know the path he is to travel. It would be foolish to set out on a journey without any real understanding of where you were going, what you might encounter along the way, and how it is you might need to prepare yourself for what is ahead. We have leaders who 'set out' on a course, but when there are obstacles or unforeseen circumstances that stand in the way, they change direction at the first sign of difficulty. With a constantly changing course, we seldom get to any particular destination! We might be moving, but what does that movement really accomplish?

To show, one must realize there is more wisdom in walking the talk than in any form of 'directive' one might issue. The example a leader sets is perhaps his most valuable tool. It reveals what he believes and how much his beliefs influence his actions. Beliefs held are one thing, but beliefs modeled are quite another. One might say the mark of a good leader is being a 'role model' for others who are looking to align with their vision. A vision is only as good as the leader who is able to show others the way. We are all called to be leaders of one form or another. Will we be leaders who know, go, and show? Just askin!


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