Regardless of your work experience, education level and perceived flaws, you are a leader. I define a leader as an influencer, so I will use these terms interchangeably. You have the power to affect change in every environment you step into and more importantly, the people you touch everyday. It doesn’t matter if you've never held a title or a “leadership” position. A title certainly doesn’t make a leader. Whether you’re a housewife, a nurse, a hairstylist or a business owner, you have been called to lead and to influence people in your sphere of the world. Wherever you go, the atmosphere should be a little better because your words and actions have benefited those in your presence. The seeds you sow by the words you speak and the choices you make create a difference in a person’s life. It could be a small act of kindness or offering a word of encouragement. The size of your gesture of influence is irrelevant. The significance comes from your efforts to help restore, strengthen and build those that cross your path. That includes your own children, friends, coworkers and strangers alike.
God has called every woman to be a model, a guide and an encourager to people. Even if you don’t feel like you have the ability to lead others, that doesn’t negate what God has already qualified you to do. Before we can step out to exercise our ability to virtuously influence others, we must recognize that we’ve been made in His image. We've been designed to reflect his heart and mind. Granted, we’re not always living out His reflection because of the misaligned choices we make sometimes. But if we strengthen our self-image by understanding and accepting what He has already built us to do, we free ourselves to actually live it out.
What is the difference between a virtuous leader and the common leader is found in the word “virtuous.” Our virtuousness sets us apart from other leaders in that we are influencing people others out of love, not fear. Virtuous means that we are influencing and leading people from a place of integrity and service. Our decisions and actions toward people are rooted in a genuine desire to help people in whatever capacity we can. I can’t emphasize this enough; we do not lead or influence people to stroke our egos and to feel good about ourselves. Loving people means to bless others at the expense of self, so leadership demonstrates sacrificial love. It is also a redemptive love in that we lead to restore, strengthen and build people, not to serve ourselves. True leadership reflects the love of Christ.
An excerpt from Alice's upcoming book "Designed To Bloom: How To Create a Life of Peace, Purpose and Productivity."
Alice is an Educator, Coach, Speaker and Author. She loves teaching on creating peaceful lives through purpose & productivity to help women awaken their gifts to influence their world.