The recently concluded series of Victory entitled Unpopular has made a strong impact in me because it is applicable not only to the upcoming elections (happening in five days), but also to our personal growth as citizens who can lead in our own living spaces. It gave us an overview of the qualities we should look for in choosing the leaders for our country and it reminded us of the type of leaders we should aspire to be. Leadership is usually regarded as a topic that should be discussed among a specific group of people only because most people think that it is solely for individuals who have people under their command or for those who hold positions in government, offices and organizations. On the contrary, we can all be leaders because leadership is influence. And all of us are capable of influencing other people. Sociologists say that even the most introverted person will influence at least ten thousand people in his or her lifetime. Social media has made it even easier for us to influence a bigger audience. That is why with all the social media accounts that we have, we want to gain more followers Twitter, more likes on Facebook and more views in YouTube. It also has become a tool to measure the magnitude of influence. With this in mind, we must be gear our actions toward becoming leaders worth following, deflecting from the widely known perception of what a leader is. Thus, the title Unpopular.
1. A true leader is selfless.
It is natural for anyone to think of his own interest, but only a true leader places others above himself. He constantly thinks of the welfare of other people — needs, potentials and development. He also takes the extra effort to protect them from violence, harm and from forces that can cause people to feel demoralized.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
— Philippians 2:3–4 NIV
2. A true leader serves.
Politicians are supposedly public servants. They are elected to serve the people and candidates should not aspire for position for personal gains. Being a leader is hard work as opposed to what is believed by many. It is working for others’ sake and for the betterment of the people he serves.
The measure of a man is not how many servants he has but how many men he serves.
— Dwight L. Moody
3. A true leader is humble.
A true leader knows how to take responsibility for decisions and actions. And it includes admitting to faults, apologizing and rectifying mistakes. Moreover, a leader will not mind taking the lowliest or the most unwanted task for the team.
Level 5 leaders look out the window to attribute success to factors other than themselves. When things go poorly, however, they look in the mirror and blame themselves, taking full responsibility.
— James C. “Jim” Collins, Good to Great
4. A true leader makes sacrifices.
To be a leader worth following means to set aside comforts, carry the burdens, for the benefit of other people. Even when the gains are uncertain or less than what is to be given up, a true leader will wholeheartedly make that sacrifice as long as he believes it will improve the condition of the people he serves.
There is no success without sacrifice. If you succeed without sacrifice it is because someone has suffered before you. If you sacrifice without success it is because someone will succeed after.
— Rick Joyner
Entitlement prevents the rise of true leaders. Having this mindset looks to the privileges and gains of what leaders can attain rather than the service and positive change that should be given to people. What are deemed as “privileges” are supposedly tools for leaders to be able to fulfill their responsibilities of serving and creating an environment fit for the people to grow and be the best versions of themselves. The popular view of a leader is one who has all the conveniences at hand. Everyone desires to be on top in thinking that it promises countless privileges that make life easy and enjoyable. The true essence of leadership is actually the opposite. It is not focusing on what you can get, but what you can give to people. It is not how the world can change you, but how you can change the world for the better. If you missed the Unpopular series, you may listen to the podcasts here.