I’ve been writing about fear, words, and events going on in the world lately.

When I think about these writings, I think there is a theme – that there seems to be a lack of leadership – or at least the way I define it. Then again, who am I, right?  I don’t buy into the notion that a title all of a sudden makes someone a leader.  I’ve known plenty of people who were leaders without any title.  And they did a far better and more effective job leading than anyone they worked for who had a title or the money to go with it.

So what is leadership?  I think this is very important.  I also think we lack leadership in many areas of life.  I also believe that when a leader does emerge, that people latch on to that person, regardless of where that leader is taking people.  That’s how desperate we are for leadership.  Desperate people will do desperate things.  Just look at who the popular politicians running for president are right now.  And no, I’m not just talking about Trump either.

Leadership is essential, not just for government and the military, but for any organization.  This is also true with the church.  I have seen many churches flounder because there was no leadership.  Sure there was a pastor, but the pastor didn’t lead.

Our society is just so desperate for leadership.

So here’s my definition of leadership.

The purpose of leadership is to provide direction for people.  To be a shepherd leading the flock, avoiding the pitfalls and defending the flock from wolves.

The purpose of leadership is to create an environment of calmness and predictability because people don’t do well and become uneasy when there is constant chaos.  That doesn’t mean there is no change.  Quite the contrary, a leader’s role is to implement necessary change, but do it an a manner that won’t create chaos.

The purpose of leadership is to have a vision and and to speak of that vision so that people will want to come along for the ride because they see the benefit of coming along.  But it goes beyond that – the vision should stretch people to move beyond themselves to the greater community and to future generations.

The purpose of leadership is to create an environment where people can be on the same team going forward.  It is not to create conformity though.  People are different and those difference can actually be a strength because it provides the leader different perspectives that were not available to him/her before.  With different perspectives comes better decisions.

Leadership provides hope, calmness, and reassurance that things are under control.  And when things get out of control, there is someone in charge who will do whatever it takes to get things under control again.

How do you define leadership?