Monday, April 12, 2010

The Final Post

Well, I'm certainly going to miss the opportunities this class has given me, especially writing in this blog and analyzing the lessons I've learned. It's been fun, but it had to end sometime, I suppose. Today, I will highlight five of my favorite concepts from among the blogs I've written so far.

Back in January, I wrote about the roles of leadership in my life that I was going to apply these principles to. Towards the end, however, is where a surprising and important insight surfaced about my style of leadership.

"I discovered that I am more of a subtle leader. I let the REALLY outgoing, good at public speaking and coming up with super creative ideas people take over while I support them and take care of the people that might get overlooked in the big picture. So, in my own life, where I AM the leader, it's a little more difficult. But as I started looking, I found that while the leading I do won't be quite what George Washington or Rosa parks did, it CAN follow what Jesus Christ did in his life. I can serve and love and be an example. I can listen and learn and grow, and in doing so lead others to see their own potentials as leaders. Because as this blog's title aptly states, "Anyone can lead." And I believe that everyone should."
This class, in conjunction with FOL, has led me to a better, more complete understanding of what it means to lead--and that anyone can, and that there isn't necessarily ONE specific method that works best. There are as many methods as there are people in this world, but the best ones, as I've learned, include Christ-like love as a main principle. I am pretty sure I mentioned this in almost every blog I wrote, and appropriately so, as it was basically the central theme of our class.

"True leadership, akin to discipleship, is service. Service is love in action. Love is the way and the light of Christ. There is no other way to serve, no other way to lead, no other way to follow Him."
I find another lesson in my February blog post about time management; I have discovered that there is always room for improvement, but that it is important not to let the less valuable things take away from service to myself and others.

"Focus on people, not processes or things- This is one that will come gradually, but at the same time it's something that I already do for the most part. I'm still learning, of course. It could mean that sometimes friends should be put before school, or even writing. Christ made people his focus during his mission on this earth, and I should always strive to express love to those in my life, supporting them as they do me rather than selfishly using all of my resources to further my own goals and dreams. I know that despite any improvement these things bring to my life, there will always be room for improvement."

Through this class, and especially through blogging, I have been able to think back on my recent life and see what my attributes of a leader are, as well as what I can improve on and who I can become. In reading Max DePree's book, "Leading Without Power," I learned this lesson most poignantly.

"We are all striving for completion, or perfection, on this earth. That is aneternal quest, obtaining the highest degree of our potential. It is not something done easily, nor is it something that can be achieved alone. And love, hope, service--these are all necessary to reaching that place of 'realized potential.'"
But the biggest thing I took from this class is a better understanding of the way Christ leads, and the way He expects me to lead; with love and devotion to the people. Without greed or a search for power. Without beguiling or misleading. With caring, friendship, and the intent to better those around me.

"My theory is that if I have love, if I recognize it in my life and use it, I have a responsibility to show my fellow man that same love. I have a responsibility to not only love him, but show him how I found that love. This is how leadership is based on love. This is what I believe the best leadership is made of."
I am going to miss this class. It was fun, enlightening, and full of wonderful people as well as opportunities. It is my fervent hope that I will continue to interact with these great people, or at least stay in close enough touch to watch how they take the principles of this class and become the incredible disciples and leaders they are on their way to becoming. This is a thank you to them for being such great classmates, T.A.s, and instructors. Thank you for making my experience in this class a valuable one, and for helping me learn, and for all the good times. Go forth and serve, my friends!