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"Honoring God in the Morning"
Is your leadership attracting the right kind of people? (103-3)
Written by Barry Werner on January 6th, 2010. Posted in 1 Kings, 2 Kings, Character, Commitment, Mentor, Old Testament, Team Building, Vision.
Effective leaders are always on the lookout for good people. Virtually every leader carries around a mental list of what kind of people they would like on their team. It would surprise some leaders to discover that the teammate they get has less to do with what the leader wants and more to do with who the leader is. In most situations a leader draws people to them who possess the same qualities that the leader has. Read 2 Kings 2:1-15.
Elijah had a charismatic personality that affected all those around him on every level. Remember the lessons from 1 Kings 18 when Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal, he connected with the people of Israel. He didn’t just sit idly by while the prophets of Baal did their incantations to call down fire on the sacrifice; he taunted them and made sarcastic remarks concerning Baal napping. When the time came for Elijah to implore God to bring the fire to ignite the wood on the sacrifice he poured water on the wood and made a display that won the people’s hearts. And, when he called for the execution of the false prophets, the people were captivated and on his team.
This same charismatic personality attracted not only Elijah’s future protégé Elisha but entire companies of prophets to Elijah. Not every leader is charismatic but every leader will attract like-minded people to their team. Highly charismatic leaders may attract large numbers of followers but even modest leaders can gain a following. Mutual attraction is more than chemistry. There are some elements that make it happen:
- People line up with people whose vision they respect. Both Elijah and Elisha possessed a mutual vision to serve God for the sake of Israel.
- Mutual expectations develop naturally from mutual vision. Both Elijah and Elisha expected to do great things for God. Elisha expected and received a double portion of the anointing of Elijah.
- Individuals follow leaders because they believe those leaders can take them where they want to go. Leaders enlist followers because they understand that followers help them realize their vision. Each contributes something to fulfill the other’s expectations. Elijah mentored Elisha, giving him the opportunity to learn how to be a godly leader. Elisha needed to humble himself, follow the older prophet, and learn. These men made mutual contributions and this arrangement made both of them better leaders.
- Individuals are attracted to leaders when they both have similar levels of commitment. As Elijah neared the end of his leadership, Elisha renewed his commitment to his mentor. Elijah’s commitment was also strong as demonstrated by his offer to do whatever he could for Elisha.
A leader can learn a lot about themselves by looking at the people their leadership has attracted. What you observe may please you, but if you aren’t getting the kind or the number of teammates you’d like, there is good news. If you are willing to grow and change, to establish core values based on God’s Word, and work on elements of your character, your leadership will attract better people simply because you have improved yourself.