What it means to lead.

L.E.A.D. Leverage, Edify, Assimilate, and Direct. Isn’t that an ideal way to remember what it takes to lead? I learned this acronym from a leadership seminar and it really stuck.

No matter how many Science classes I took (and even when I homeschooled my own children through elementary school) I always had trouble understanding the three types of levers and how the fulcrums changed the ease of the load and how much force had to be applied. It always came down to leverage or the exertion of force by means of a lever or an object used in the lever.

Leverage. When I lead, am I the fulcrum? Am I the force? Or am I the load? The ability to influence a system, or an environment, in a way that multiplies the outcome of one’s efforts without a corresponding increase in the consumption of resources, is the true definition of leverage. In other words, leverage is the condition of having a relatively small amount of cost in order to yield a relatively high level of returns. Sounds quite advantageous, doesn’t it?

Edify. When we spiritually or morally uplift someone we edify them. When we introduce a speaker to a large audience we edify the speaker and get the audience excited about what the speaker will teach them. But, the best example of edification is when we speak highly of someone when they aren’t even in the room. Have you ever had a person tell you that your services came highly recommended by someone? That “someone” was edifying you when you were not around. It’s a great feeling when you know you made a difference in at least one person’s life. When we can promote, uplift and educate in a way that is pleasant and God-honoring, we are on our way to greater emotional and spiritual wealth. I love this verse from Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,”

Assimilate. When we can take in someone’s culture, point of view or situation and then understand it fully, we are in a position to help, aid and support when we are called to do so. This can stretch us if we were raised a certain way or have strong convictions, but there are so many ways for us to grow as we understand others. Romans 2:11 says “For God shows no partiality” I also appreciate the teachings in Luke. Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” Belive me, I am still a work in progress on that one!

Direct. When we can stay on the most direct course to get from point A to point B, or when we can guide someone else in the course they are trying to take, we are leading. It is easy to get off course and distractions will always come our way, but in order for true leadership to happen, we must stay the course, stick it out, persevere, or whatever idiom works for you. Get it done!

Never forget that true leaders lead from the front. They do not delegate from the rear and wait to see what happens. They take action. Will you be a leader today? Will you boldly step out in faith that you can work on your agenda in a timely manner, be aware of the feelings and situations of the people on your team and get it done?

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