Last month I completed a master certificate in healthcare management, and our first class was on the topic of leadership and character. Our textbook for this was ?Discover Your True North? by Harvard Business Professor Bill George. Excellent course.
The essence of this ?true north? concept surrounds how we each follow an ?internal compass? and the textbook interviews over 120 people, each of whom are well-established leaders. Uniformly the book leaders and author discuss the world crisis found in leadership today, which occurs when we veer away from basic sound values such as honesty, transparency, truth. The idea being that as leaders we must be willing to ?walk the walk? and ?talk the talk?. Innately we all know that ?leadership principles are values translated into action?, as stated in the textbook. The author also states ?There is no such thing as an instant leader?. The author and the numerous interviewed leaders are very honest about their own failings back early on, as well as later in their careers.
Being an honest authentic leader can also be studied extensively in the ?true north? principles found throughout scripture. We each as Christian leaders in our workplaces and homes strive to leave something lasting don?t we? How we deal with problems and people is something we do constantly, yet we also deal with moments of self-doubt as well as difficulties along the way.
So instead of emulating the CEO of some successful ophthalmic practice, we should instead be working to motivate those around us to carry out Christ centered goals, visions, and missions. This starts with our own behavior and attitudes, doesn?t it? By working through the personal trials and achievements in our lives, we end up finding our own ?authentic voice?, which is the building block towards leading a company or organization as we embrace authentic leadership. Turns out nobody else can replicate our unique authentic voice.
This textbook talks about the following dimensions that an executive leader needs in order to lead with authenticity:
- Purpose bigger than ?you?
- Practicing solid values
- Heart and Compassion
- Healthy Relationships
As leaders we enjoy success, yet at times will experience overwhelming workloads and typically are judged by those around us.
If you?re striving to become that better leader, or looking for spiritual inspiration in the journey ahead, here are some great scriptural cornerstones that you may find useful to consider along the way:
Gal 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Isaiah 41:10 so do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
John 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less.
Philippians 2:4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.