Bill Hybels, the Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago area, talks a lot about leadership. One of his most significant teachings, to me, is his discussion of which direction leadership goes in. He says, “Imagine a compass—north, south, east, and west. Almost every time the word leadership is mentioned, in what direction do leaders instinctively think?
Say the word leadership and most leaders’ minds migrate to the people who are under their care. At leadership conferences, people generally think, ‘I’m going to learn how to improve my ability to lead the people God has entrusted to me.’
South. It’s a leader’s first instinct.
But many people don’t realize that to lead well, you need to be able to lead in all directions—north, south, east and west.”
Hybels goes on to talk about “leading up,” leading those who are above you, but also leading laterally. The most important leadership, though, is leadership in the middle of the compass–self leadership.
We could spend weeks dialoguing about each of these directions, but when it comes to spiritual leadership, the most important position is self leadership. Hybels boils self leadership into answering these key questions:
Is my calling clear?
Is my passion hot?
Is my example inspiring?
Is my spirit Christlike?
How are you able to answer these questions today?
What needs to change?
What other questions do you routinely ask yourself?
(For more on self leadership, see Hybels’ Courageous Leadership, chapter 9.)