On The Path Of winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
How To Nurture The Leader In You
WHAT do you think of the word service? Our false definition of the word is reflected in the Sarcastic Beatitudes by John Phillips, who also wrote a paraphrase of the New Testament Bible: ‘’Blessed are the pushers for they get their way. Blessed are the hard-boiled for they never get hurt. Blessed are those who complain, for they get all the attention. Blessed are the blasé, for they never worry about sin. Blessed are the slave drivers, for they get results. Blessed are the greedy, for they get what they want.’’
Which is why Jesus introduced himself as ‘’The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life,’’ Mark 10:45. And Jesus practised what he preached. He says, ‘‘He who is greatest among you shall be your servant.’’
Caleb wasn’t into safe living, for as a youngman he came back from Canaan standing with the minority. He said with God on their side they will take it. At 85, he was still slaying giants and claiming mountains. That was because he had a leadership spirit, the incurable optimist. The great essayist, Richard Edler wrote: ‘’Safe living generally makes for regrets later in life.’’ You were given talents for your own greatness. You were born to nurture your dreams for all they were worth. Leaders don’t allow themselves to be pressured into thinking your talents are for hire. They were meant to bring you joy and fulfilment, you are not limited by your Intelligence Quotent – (IQ). You can only allow yourself to be limited by your will. Fate or destiny begins where free will ends. Life’s battles don’t always go to the fastest. The man who wins is the man who believes he can win. The spirit of Caleb is the can do spirit. It is the spirit of leadership.
Think carefully about ‘‘walking with God.’’ In whose company are you walking? Since you are angling for higher status, the higher your calling, the lower you must become in your own eyes. Apostle Paul had one of the greatest callings in the world. Can you imagine the Bible without the Epistles? We would know far less about church functions without Paul.
If you believe God has called you to leadership, your response should be to fall on your face before Jehovah. That is how every great leader in scripture responded. When an angel appeared to Zacharias telling him he would have a son named John, Zacharias fell to the floor and didn’t move, to the point that people wondered if he was dead. Prophet Ezekiel said that in the presence of Yahweh and at the vision God gave him, he collapsed on the floor. God had to tell him to get up saying: Son of Man, stand upon thy feet and I will speak unto thee, Ezekiel 2:1.
When John the Revelator saw Jesus standing in the midst of seven churches, he wrote: ‘‘And when I saw Him, I fell at his feet as dead,’’ Revelation 1:17. Those who exalt themselves are humbled by God. Those who humble themselves are those whom Jehovah raises up. Humility isn’t debasement. It just means thinking of yourselves less. ‘‘The discerning heart seeks knowledge,’’ Prov. 15:14. If you are talented, you may have difficulties when it comes to staying teachable. Gifted people often act like they know it all. That makes it hard for them to keep learning. Being teachable isn’t about competence. It is about attitude. It is the hunger to discover and grow. It is the willingness to learn, unlearn and relearn.
When you stop learning you stop leading. Only as you remain teachable will you keep growing and continue making an impact. Beside being an astonishing painter, Leonardo da Vinci was a genius in more fields than any scientist of any age. His notebooks were centuries ahead of his time. He anticipated helicopters. In one, he wrote that inaction saps the vigour of the mind. You don’t need to have the talent of Leonardo. You just must have the right attitude. To remain teachable, the most important skill is for you to continue learning. Life long learning is the prescription for greatness.
Our champion this week is James Callaghan: in full – Baron James Callaghan of Cardiff. Born in England in March, 1912, Callaghan became British Labour Party politician who was prime minister from 1976 to 1979. Owing to poverty, he entered the civil service as a tax officer at age 17. By 1936 he had become a full time trade unionist.
After serving as a lieutenant in Naval Intelligence in World War II, he entered Parliament in 1945 representing the Welsh constituency of Cardiff South. Between 1947 and 1951, Callaghan was a junior minister at the Ministry of Transport. When Harold Wilson became prime minister in 1964, Callaghan was named Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 1967, he helped secure the system called Special Drawing Rights, which created a new kind of global money.
Callaghan resigned as chancellor when he was forced to devalue the Pound Sterling in 1967. He then served as Home Secretary till 1970. In Wilson’s second ministry in 1974, Callaghan served as Foreign Secretary and in 1976 upon Wilson’s resignation, Callaghan succeeded him as Prime Minister. But during his ministry, as a moderate within the Labour Party, Callaghan tried to stem the tide of the demands of the trade unions. When a series of strikes paralyzed health care, he was dubbed complacent, and was dethroned by a vote of no confidence in the Parliament, the first since 1924. When his party was defeated in 1980 he resigned as party leader and was replaced by Michael Foot. He was created a life peer in 1987 and published an autobiography: Time and Chance in 1987. He died in 2005.