While digging pits at East Sale (Exercise Labaun) and wandering the hills at Blackwood (Exercise Sylvan), while I wasn’t giving out minties, I was forced to reconsider the marks of a good leader. What do I look for and what do I value as a follower? Here is a list of seven qualities that I think are important:
Lasts – goes the full distance, shows perseverance and determination, refuses to give up when things get tough.
Enthusiastic – passionate about whatever the group is doing and able to grasp a vision and see beyond the obvious.
Available – even if lacks some abilities is always ready and eager to learn new skills and experiment with new challenges.
Disciplined – models great character regardless of the odds, knows who they are and what is really important.
Encourages – builds the team by providing affirmation and support, balancing the demands of both the task and the team.
Selfless – gives sacrificially for the team, prepared to share the power and the glory for the completed task.
How do you measure up against that list? The fact is none of us are yet perfect and all of us need to keep learning and growing so that we might become better leaders.
Ignatius Loyola was a soldier who was wounded in a battle and while convalescing had a spiritual experience which challenged him to use his military leadership training in the service of the church. The result? The Jesuits! This is his prayer:
Teach us, Lord,
To serve you as you deserve,
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
To toil and not to seek for rest,
To labour and not to ask for reward,
Save that of knowing that we do your will.
Chaplain Ian S Whitley