Faith vs Fear

Faith vs Fear

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thoughts on Leadership

Along with the rest of the world, I have been watching the rescue of the Chilean miners. I like this comment from President PiƱera of Chile: "We have learned from this accident that unity, faith, hope, and courage can achieve all the goals that we can set for our country." It is true, also, in our everyday lives and relationships.

Reading about Luis Urzua, the crew leader of the trapped miners gave great insight into what a true leader is: one who loves and serves those who are in his care. "As the leader of a group that was forced to live in perpetual darkness, high humidity and hot temperatures, Urzua kept up order, spirits and solidarity among the group, by setting everyone tasks and making sure that no one was marginalized."

It reminded me of the conversation I had with some teens in Washington. When I went to Spokane in August I covered a two-day youth conference for 1,600 teens. I also interviewed several of them about the qualities of leadership, as well as what it takes to be a good follower. The conference was well-done with group activities, service projects, and a spiritual program; the adult leaders were organized, kind, and helpful; the kids were excited to be there and had a lot of fun meeting new people and participating in the event. Several of them talked to me about the feeling of unity and friendship that was there. I enjoyed the whole experience, but the best part was getting to talk to the young men and young women; they were delightful.

Some of the group scenes from the conference.

During the discussions on leadership, they shared sweet experiences with me and gave insight wise beyond their years. They often mentioned the qualities of unity, faith, and courage. Said one young man: "Part of being in a leadership position means helping those that may need an extra hand. I have found that by helping others I help myself, and I am learning to be a better friend and person."

They also understood the importance of listening to what others have to say. One young lady commented: "Part of being a good leader is knowing when to put aside what you want and give others what they want. I think knowing when to step back and compromise is important." Someone else said, "You have to know how to serve before you can be a good leader."

They know that along with learning to be good leaders they need to be good followers also, and do what is asked of them with a good attitude. Said one: "followership is active." Observed another: "I know that followers behind a leader are like links in a chain. If a follower isn't helping another follower up, like a chain holds itself together, then the chain will fall apart and the leadership will be worth nothing."

Like the example of those trapped in the mine, their counsel applies to us all. When I follow these qualities in my relationship with David as well as with the rest of the family, it all goes so much better.

Scenes from Spokane: the clock tower, falls, and river

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