Monday, May 2, 2011

Leadership Manifesto

As noted in the last post, the first semester is over and today begins the next chapter.  We ended the leadership series by writing our first leadership manifesto.  This is the culmination of introductory exercises in self-discovery of strengths, values, passion, and the journey.

I am sharing my leadership manifesto to allow those who know me or interact with me to hold me accountable to these values and declarations.  You have complete permission to ask me how I'm doing at any time with respect to these declarations and to provide loving correction if you see me veering off course.


Everyone is a leader in some way, but not everyone accepts the responsibility of leadership.  Leaders influence and inspire – in both negative and positive ways.  When we accept the responsibility to be influential and inspirational to others, it is then that we are stepping out of our comfort zone of complacency and self-absorbed egos to put our focus on others.  How can one possibly think they can influence someone else without first understanding those they desire to influence?
As I have reviewed all of the previous papers that we were required to write for this seminar series, I’ve pondered what I am now to do given what I’ve said is important, given what I view is leadership, and given the journey I’ve traveled so far.  This manifesto will summarily declare these things and provide my personal “marching orders”, answering my recurring question, “What am I supposed to do with this?”
My Leadership Manifesto
Intentionality Matters:
Nothing of great value in our lives happens by accident.  I will not accomplish great things, cultivate deep relationships, or gain in-depth knowledge by waiting for those things to happen.  I must live with intentionality and purpose.  The foundation for my manifesto must be based on intentionality.  Every decision, every activity, every moment must be as intentional as possible.  Based on what I’ve discovered about myself in this leadership series, I am daily revisiting the question, “Am I now who I have always been or is this just a mask I’ve donned for the theatre of life?”   I have to be real with myself.  I cannot just exist – I must live.
Trust Matters: 
To effectively lead, I must walk on a foundation of trust.  Trust provides freedom and empowerment.  Trust gives me the freedom to control the way I conduct myself with others and allows me to not worry about the reactions of others.   Trust empowers me to be intentionally vulnerable as I build authentic relationships, but diplomatically bold when facing conflict or issues that need to be addressed.
Growth Matters: 
"Don't be afraid of going slowly, be afraid of standing still."
Eastern Proverb
We’ve all heard that we’re either growing or we’re dying. I am committed to personal growth – spiritually, intellectually, and physically. 
I will intentionally seek God daily through praying, reading, and journaling introspectively to gain insight, wisdom and discernment.  If I am to be a “light” in this world, I need to understand that every light has a source.  Daylight’s source is from the sun – John’s light source is from the Son of God.
I will intentionally seek out mentors who will challenge me to see different perspectives, to strengthen relevant skills, to aid in self-discovery, and to expand my sphere of influence.  
I will intentionally pursue resources that will challenge and help me to grow intellectually.  This will come in the form of mentors, relationships, online reading, books, classes, and seminars.
I will intentionally block out time, weekly, for regular exercise to provide an outlet of stress release and to stay healthy and active for as long as I live.
"A leader who develops people ADDS - a leader who develops leaders, MULTIPLIES!" -John Maxwell.   “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies within us while we live.” -Norman Cousins.
I am not just committed to personal growth, but also to encouraging growth in others.  I will be a servant leader to my wife, extended family, and friends.  I will be a cultivator of authentic revelation and discovery in each relationship.  I will intentionally encourage each relationship to discover their gifts/strengths and incorporate them into their personal journey.  I will intentionally be discerning in my relationships and always look for ways to add value and enrich others lives.
Today Matters:
“Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; faith is the courage to dance to it today.” -Peter Kuzmic. 
“Never let your memories be greater than your dreams.” -Doug Ivester.
The choices I make today sow into the person I will become tomorrow.  I will make the most of each day while creating margin in my life for a balanced approach to the declarations of this manifesto.  I will continue to dream, but I will act on those dreams today.

1 comment:

  1. Great post John. I agree, we as leaders need to be aware and accept the responsibility. This can be overwhelming at times. Thanks for sharing.