There are quite possibly hundreds if not thousands of books written on the topic of leadership. There are books for people in the business world, there are books for people in the academic world, and there are of course books for people in ministry. Over the course of my years as a pastor, I have accumulated a few books on leadership.
This column will of course come out after our city elections have occurred. Hopefully the decisions we have made will result in bold and creative leadership for the future of our town.
I was amazed to read a couple weeks ago that the city council was debating buying a bucket truck for which they had already budgeted. And then it was suggested that the public be asked what we think about it. I might be wrong, but I believed that is why we elected people to serve on city council, so we didn’t have to make those decisions.
Leadership is not about micro-managing or making sure that what we are doing is in the best opinion of everyone else. Leadership is also not about posturing or political appeal, regardless of what we see in the Beltway. Leadership is about employing a position and using it to help the people that report to you, work for you, or what have you, to help them become better at whatever it is that they are tasked to do.
Leadership works best when it is thought of as a multi-tiered fountain. Think of water bubbling out of the top and pouring down into the first level, then when that pool is full it cascades down into the next one thus filling it up, and it continues until that water reaches the bottom pool. It doesn’t work if the top of the fountain is sucking water out of the first level and it goes dry. Eventually all that water in the next couple of levels will become stagnant and nasty — fit only for mosquito larvae.
What we need from any of our leaders — church, school board, city, state, or federal governments — is leaders who pour into their next level of leaders, to give them the opportunities to do their jobs to the best of their abilities, ensuring that they are able to pour into their next level of leaders so that they can in turn do the same. This will create an atmosphere of leadership within our community. Instead of people wondering if the leaders above them trust them to do their jobs, they will experience leaders who empower them to do their jobs to the best of their abilities each and every day.
As I have said in numerous columns, I believe that we have a wonderful community, a city of which we can be very proud. I have lived in Tucson, Ariz., Spokane, Wash., and Pasadena, Calif. I can honestly say this is the best place I have lived. May our leaders boldly lead us into the future.