You may or may not know, Donald Trump is the new President of the United States of America. What happens next is anyone’s guess, but have you ever wondered why in the world a man who has everything would want to be President?
WHO WANTS TO BE A LEADER?
This is a legitimate question, not only for the president-elect, but for every leader. Why do we want the burden of pursuing a challenging vision? Why bother to set goals, mobilize others, and struggle to overcome obstacles in pursuit of that vision? It is certainly much easier to follow, and yet here we are, reading a leadership blog.
THE WRONG REASONS
There are many reasons people want to lead, but not all of them are the right reasons. If your heart's motivation comes from the wrong place, you may very well end up somewhere you didn’t want to be.
Money. Some people lead because there is money to be made in commanding others, but money is a weak motivation for any type of sacrifice. The love of money is known to be the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).
Power. There is something about being powerful that entices people. While being at the top of the pecking order can guarantee certain benefits, power leadership never lasts. Recently, we saw the death of a man who held on to political and military power for half a century. When he passed, the unthinkable happened: People celebrated his death.
Prestige. I suspect many wealthy people who embrace politics do so to boost their egos. Applause is intoxicating, but loyalty to such leaders fades away when the next celebrity replaces them in the public eye.
THE RIGHT REASONS
Proper motivation for leading will not guarantee immediate success, but the rightly motivated leader will leave behind a legacy.
Service. Servant leaders focus primarily on the people they lead. They empower others and help them become the best version of themselves. Those leaders have learned the important lesson that when people around them succeed, they share the same success.
Transformation. The world is in desperate need of transformation. Leaders who embrace a God-given vision bring change. As Steve Jobs once said, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”
Vision. There are needs all around us that must be met. Leadership is not a matter of asking, “Why me?” but “Why not?” God uses His Servants to meet needs and bring His Kingdom on earth.
Obedience. Perhaps the highest motivation to lead is obedience to God’s calling and purpose. His Spirit puts us in a position to influence others for God's glory, and expects us to be obedient stewards of that influence.
I may not have an answer as to what motivates this or that politician, and I am not sure it matters. What does matter is that we lead from the right motivation. There is a global leadership crisis — a shortage of leaders, and a greater shortage of God-led, visionary leaders. We have a tremendous opportunity to influence others and bring God’s Kingdom on earth.