That’s quite a question, isn’t it? Are you a leader?

The answer is: yes. Yes you are – to a certain extent. Everybody is.

John Maxwell, who is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on leadership boils it down to a simple formula. A leader is one who has people following him or her. If you suggest a movie and people agree, you have become the leader in the smallest sense. If you lead your children or siblings, you are a leader.

But we are talking about something different. We are talking about leadership on a much broader scale. Leadership which manifests by others outside of your home and outside of your circle of friends and family, wanting to take your advice and follow you. This would apply to your workplace, your ministry, or your volunteer organization. If others are following you, you are a leader.

I think that most of us want to be good leaders. we want to inspire others, and we want to energize them to accomplish their best. But often, we don’t know how to overcome our own insecurities. And we don’t know how to overcome the environment which wars against us. So in the next few blogposts, we are going to be discussing how we can increase our effectiveness in leadership.

Do you remember seeing a picture of horses with blinders pulling a cart? These blinders were boards on each side of the face which shielded the vision of these horses as they pulled the cart in the direction they should go. The blinders were to do exactly as the word says, they were to blind the horses to the distractions which would delay their moving forward. As they looked straight ahead, these animals would continue on their appointed journey, without considering the possibilities of the right or the left.

Unfortunately, today we don’t have such tools to apply. In today’s society, there are many distractions for everyone. 24/7 news allows us to know what is happening all around the world in record time. A few decades ago, it would take several weeks for news of destruction to reach us. Now we are subject to the events unfolding all around the world almost immediately. So people get distracted by the news and by the media in general.

Families are involved in more activities than ever before. No longer do we encounter scouts or a few lessons per child. Now it seems that everyone has to be involved in several sports, or cheerleading, or theater or music – as well as a more demanding homework schedule. Then with many mothers working full time outside the home, often families can be found running from one appointment to another, and falling into bed at night – exhausted and frustrated.

So how can we lead these busy people to accomplish anything? How can we be leaders when we are so busy ourselves?

Remember: when there is a problem, with God, there is always a solution. So the first thing we do is to pray. We pray for the people we are trying to lead, and we pray for God’s plan to be revealed to us. He always has the answer for accomplishing our goals in a shorter period of time. Further, He can show us how to motivate overly busy people so that our projects generate life and encouragement.

In the next few posts we will discuss ideas for leading in a busy world. The first of these tips would be to stay positive and full of faith as we embark on our missions. Patience, kindness, and understanding are important as we try to motivate our followers. If we keep our eyes on the goal, and stay above the fray, we will make our mission a mission of joy and not a mission of hardship.

So as we keep our eyes on the goal, we stay focused – just as we are wanting others to do. Don’t allow the distractions of what people aren’t doing discourage us. Look at what they are doing and applaud those things.

Focus and stay full of faith. God has a plan here, and it will come into fruition if we  take one step at a time, with our eyes fixed on Him.

One step at a time.