Thursday, May 19, 2011

Leading with the Heart, Not the Head

I have always been drawn to leadership.  Not only do I love to be in leadership, but I love to associate myself with "great leaders."  Especially men in leadership.  My heart thrives in leadership, but I have never had a problem following a man in leadership (granted done well).  This probably makes me seem anti-feminist, but as a strong, independent woman I prefer a man to take the lead.

For one, I have always believed it was Biblical.  "A husband is to rule over his wife as Christ does the church." And other such references.  I don't believe it is a call for men to act like dictators over women, definitely not.  But I do believe that God gave men their "warrior-like" tendencies in order to lead the people in their life.  

Whilst growing in and discovering my God-given femininity as a young girl I had always looked up to strong-leading men.  Many of whom were impressive leaders with an attitude of "Follow me or get left behind."  It was always a mad dash to keep up with wherever they were going, fully trusting that their sprint to the summit was the exact route and pace that God had set before them.  

From youth leaders, to boyfriends, to my father I have always been completely happy being told what to do, being controlled, and completely trusting that they were leading those in their life in the exact model Christ set up for relationships.

Then, I stumbled across this blog and it kinda rocked my world.  It challenged me to rethink how I view male leadership.  
Sometimes I get caught in the impression that leadership is about power or authority or who gets to make the decisions. But, by the end of the hike, I couldn’t help but think about how this must be what true leadership looks like: loving guidance, taking responsibility for safety and direction, carrying extra weight and running ahead to check for danger.
What? A man who leads with his heart instead of his head is a good thing?  They aren't considered weak because whilst leading, they don't stop caring about those they are leading.  They step up when the need arises, but not so far as to leave people behind.

I had always been taught that great leaders are born outside of relationship.  Not true, Christ was an amazing leader and spent 90% of his time inside relationship.  Christ was not afraid to call people out, but he also was not afraid to kneel down and heal.

Leadership happens in relationship, not outside of it.

That one sentence speaks deeply to my heart.  It affirms a desire in my soul to be lead but not left behind.  In relationships I had always tied myself to men that were fantastic head-leaders.  They could see a vision and go after it, they knew what they wanted and when they wanted it.  Which always left me in dust not sure if I could go along with their goals.  Something in my heart just didn't connect, that's not the kind of leadership I wanted in a future husband...but history told me that's all that was out there.

But its not.  Men who lead with the heart are out there, I should know, I'm dating one.  When all I have known is head-leaders, heart-leaders are really uncomfortable.  The more I sit in actual relationship with a heart-leader I know this is how God intended it to be.  You move forward together as a team, sharing the weight of each other's burdens, taking time to make sure you are still on the right path.

Leadership is not about competition. It’s about getting everyone out of the woods before dark.

A man who leads with his heart is not weak or lazy because in the end he arrives at the summit alongside those he loves...instead of alone.

Ladies, have you seen examples of good male heart-leaders?  How has that impacted your identity?

Men, how does being in leadership challenge you?  Who are some men that have taught you how to lead well?

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