The One I Admire Most (Leaders Worth Following)

President’s Day has passed and I’m reflecting on a very important question that our country’s foundation is based upon, many of us may think of but may take a passive approach in answering.

What leader do you admire most?

Who is a leader you esteem worth following?

I finished reading the book “How to Lead When Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority,” by Clay Scoggins.  This book has changed my way of thinking of what it means to be the authority verses being a person of influence.  He identifies what separates a good leader from a great one.

Great leaders love people well.

Great leaders live and lead in a way that’s worth emulating.

Great leaders are lifetime learners.

Great leaders make others feel valued and appreciated.

Great leaders forgive well.

Great leaders lead by action.

Great leaders sacrifice themselves for the good of others.

Great leaders admit their failures.

What do think makes a great leader?

Clay Scoggins challenges us to write down leaders we admire and dissect why do we admire them?

Just to name a few of my favorite leaders Abraham Lincoln, Francis Chan, Corrie Ten Boom, Irena Sendler, and of course Jesus.  I admire all of these leaders for different reasons.

I admire Abraham Lincoln because he was a leader who led by action, admitted his failures and was a lifetime learner.  He defended the defenseless, stood up for social injustice by not following the way the world wanted him to but lead in the direction that was for the greater good of others.

I admire Francis Chan as a leader because he loves others well, lives and leads in a way worth emulating.  Francis Chan’s mission in life is to lead like Jesus.  He doesn’t chase fame or power but the influence of Jesus.

Corrie Ten Boom and Irena Sendler are women after my own heart.  I aspire to be like them.  Corrie and her family hid hundreds of Jews in a secret hiding place in their home to save them from going to concentration camps. Irena saved over two thousand Jewish babies from Nazi death camps.  Both women sacrificed themselves for the good of others, putting others before themselves, which in the end saved the lives of many (Gen. 50:20).

Although all these leaders are great, the one I admire most is Jesus.

Jesus is the ultimate leader.  A leader we all strive to be like.  He changed the trajectory of how leaders should lead not by the words he said, not by throwing around His titles, but by what He did.  Titles such as Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father made Him the highest authority of all.   However, Jesus didn’t use His titles of authority to transform the hearts of people, He used the influence of His mercy and grace.  His role as Humble Servant, Shepherd and Teacher won more hearts than His authority ever did.  He didn’t leverage how much He knew, he leveraged how much we can learn.

'Being a great leader isn't dependent upon having more authority. Great leadership depends upon influence. The more influence cultivated today the more you'll have tomorrow' quote Clay Scoggins.Click To Tweet

Great leaders don’t throw around their clout, beat their chests and say, “I’m in charge!”  They use their influence in a way that inspires others to say, “I want to live and lead like them!”

We don’t have to wait until we’re in a position of authority to make a difference, our time to make a difference is today.  We were all created to be a leader in one or another.  Whatever your role is as a teacher, a parent, a coach, a musician, a caretaker, an administrator or a janitor we all have our roles in God’s greater kingdom.  How we lead here on earth prepares us for our day in heaven.

In order for us to have a chance at being a loving culture, to make a difference where we are, we must emulate the best leader of all.  It starts right here, right now, with US.  I pray and hope we all can live and lead like Jesus.  Be encouraged God isn’t done with us and desires us to live in the best design of ourselves.  You are loved!

Who do you admire most and why?

What leaders do you think are worth following?

How do you leverage your influence when you’re not in charge?

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8 replies
  1. Susan
    Susan says:

    Your post is such great food for thought! Corrie ten Boom made a deep impression on my heart when I was in college. But Christ’s impression is deeper still.

    Reply
    • Heather Gillis
      Heather Gillis says:

      Yes! If you ever have the chance to read Clay Scoggins book he is a Pastor at Northpoint church under Andy Stanley. He has a lot of powerful take away nuggets we all could use in our daily lives of influence and how we influence others. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  2. DONNA MILLER
    DONNA MILLER says:

    Jesus is definitely our greatest example. He loves in a way I don’t think I will ever be able to fathom. He sees the why behind the what, and that’s one of the many things I love best about Him. The person I admire most (as a leader) in this world is my husband. He has alot of integrity and character and has taught me to live fearlessly for Jesus rather than people pleasing like I used to … ❤

    Reply
    • Heather Gillis
      Heather Gillis says:

      Yes I love the way Jesus influenced others. He didn’t influence others with his authority which he had every right to but influenced others with his mercy and grace which captivated the hearts of many. Donna I am a recovered people pleaser as well! It was so exhausting living that way, now I am learning to let go perfection and embrace good enough learning to influence like Jesus! Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
    • Heather Gillis
      Heather Gillis says:

      Thank you for your comment Michele, what leaders do you admire most? There is always something we can learn from good leaders and not so good leaders. Most importantly leaders should challenge us to ask ourselves how do we leverage our influence?

      Reply

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