Watch and Learn
Each woman on this planet has the responsibility to find a path to her personal greatness. It’s a journey of trial and error at best. Consider a small child when ready to walk, she may not understand the mechanics of her body, or how each joint works together with muscles and bones to make her walk; she does want something on the other side of the room-her goal-so she finds a way to get there. Why doesn’t she just keep crawling, the thing she has done all along? She already knows how to do that. Why does she try to stand, repeatedly fall, and usually hurt herself? The answer lies in the fundamentals of mentorship and leadership. That baby sees people everyday doing that which she feels would be worth doing herself. Her desire to stand, walk, and risk her safety are driven by the need to reach something she wants and to duplicate what she sees others accomplish.
The natural progression of the human existence is fueled by input from a wide variety of sources but usually is most dependent on the structure of some type of family to continue to flourish. It requires an ongoing cycle of watching and doing-a relationship of commitment. Like that child, adults come to milestones periodically and have the need to meet those challenges in order to walk continuously on their path toward greatness. Just because we are grown up doesn’t mean we don’t need family or a family environment to lead us.
Leaders Must Dig Deeper
Just as the young child in the example, women require accurate teaching, gentle correction, patience, love, and someone to know her strengths and weaknesses in order to bring her into healthy adulthood. As if the basics weren’t enough, knowing passions, gifts, and the burdens that lie deep within today’s woman make the mentor’s job even more challenging. But if any type of leader takes shortcuts, the result will be damaging to those taught and possibly even leave them worse off than they were before they encountered the relationship.
Products of Poor Example
For the most part, the structure of businesses, churches, and even families have not made room for this kind of healthy leadership and mentoring role. The product- the adult woman- is consequently immature, void of direction, a place to act out her callings, and the conviction to grow up! Many countries, including America, are producing millions of unfit, misfit, mediocre and discontent women. Some have been doing their jobs, been married, and have parented longer than ten years but have gained little wisdom from the poor examples set before them. Remember the importance of the baby watching her parents walk?
The practice of good leadership has declined in the world all around us. Plumbers, bankers, doctors, nurses, even artists are more often presented great opportunities because they have degrees, not because they have toiled under, watched, and emulated a master of their trade for years before being allowed to be on their own. I’m not saying women shouldn’t get an education; I’m saying that we should seek out real life teaching from those who have been there in addition to what we learn from books.
Good leaders are dynamic, serving, protecting, and selfless. They often handpick their apprentices, not just settle for whoever comes their way. They get into your mind and heart by walking you through the difficult process of absorbing what they have inside of them; they praise your victories, and they correct your mistakes! Most importantly, they don’t abandon their responsibility to demonstrate and to teach you with gentleness, patience, and enthusiasm.
The character flaw that many leaders have today is they only think about how actions and effort affect his or her life. On the other hand, the selfless leader is satisfied in knowing that their success hinges on helping others to be successful. If over the history of mankind good leaders had not passed on their knowledge and dedication, you have to wonder if the human race would still exist today.
In reality, those in a leadership position should be looking for their replacement with the intention of duplicating themselves in that person. If they fail to do so, they take a great risk of losing everything they have worked for if something happens to them. A good leader wants those whom they lead to be better and more successful; that way their vision and organization will remain even when they are gone. If we are shown how to succeed by someone who has done it, we can carry on a legacy of their great skill and wisdom and to it add our own.
Society teaches us instead to hinder and compete with those who come close to reaching our level of competency. Out of a fierce need to be the best-and let’s face it-just win at everything, we don’t want anyone behind us to pass us, let alone teach us something as they whiz on by. Because of this structure, countless of leaders are shoving gifted, bold, creative women back into the ranks. If we truly want to thrive in our home life, our businesses, and in our spiritual endeavors, something needs to change; mentorship must return, and the envious, selfish ways of today’s leaders must cease. I hope that you find good leaders to follow and that you lead with integrity, grace, and with your heart. Be well.
Photo by LanaMary