Dear Younger Me,
I know you don’t think of yourself as a leader. You’d prefer to stay in the background and let someone else lead the way. You’d rather someone else was in charge and you could just follow along.
I don’t know how to break it to you, but there are times when that’s not going to be an option.
You’ll find as you grow in confidence that there will be more and more situations where people look to you to take a lead, and, honestly, you won’t have much choice in the matter.
It’s largely because if you commit to do something, you want to do it properly. If someone else is taking the lead and doing it well you’ll be quite happy to sit back and let them, but if you feel it’s not happening as you think it should, you won’t be able to stop yourself from stepping up. Then people will see and offer you more leadership opportunities.
The only way you can stop this is to stop caring, and I don’t think you’re capable of that, so I think you’re going to have to accept the idea of being a leader. Someone has to go first and, when something matters to you, you’re generally unafraid to be that one.
All I can do is encourage you to learn to lead well.
I can only share a few quick tips with you here, but I hope this is a starting point:
First of all, care for the people you are leading. Leadership is not just about completing a task; it’s also about developing people. Lead in a way that is loving and encouraging, that builds confidence and helps them to grow.
Secondly, remember that leadership is about serving. It should never lead to boastfulness and pride, but to humble service.
Follow Jesus’ example: “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28 NLT)
Thirdly, accept that being a leader can mean making unpopular decisions. You’re never going to please everyone…
…Which leads to my final, and most important, piece of advice. Put God first and seek to please him above all. Always look to him to lead you and guide you. That is what will ultimately enable you to lead others well.
This post is part of “Dear Younger Me…” – a series for Write 31 Days in October 2019. Each day I am basing my writing on the one-word prompt provided. Today the prompt is “first.” You can find an introduction to the series and an index of all the posts here, and you can find out more about the challenge and check out other people’s series here.