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Factors To Consider When Deciding To Lead

If you’re reading this then you are a leader or have the desire to lead. Today in my studies I came across three factors a leader needs to consider if he or she feels called to lead. These factors as defined by John Maxwell in his book, “Leadership Promises for Every Day” (2003) are opportunity, ability and desire. Let’s look at all 3 factors briefly.

Opportunity: opportunity is about timing. How often are we presented the opportunity to make a difference in our job, our community or place of worship? If the right opportunity presents itself and you feel you can make a difference, even though you may feel anxious, jump at the opportunity to lead. Maxwell would caution you and state that you have a better opportunity of success if the opportunity presented is aligned with your ability and your desire.

Ability: ability is all about competency. Do you have the knowledge, skills and talents to lead a specific project or to fulfill a need? The opportunity is there; is the competency aligned with the opportunity? So what’s next? John Maxwell would argue that the desire must be present.

Desire: desire is all about passion; a hunger to meet a need. It is not always about being in charge or leading, but it is all about a strong desire, a hunger, to meet a special need or needs.

Let’s pause for a moment. What are the needs in your job, your community, your house of worship? Are you passionate about meeting those needs? Do you feel you have the competency, despite the “butterflies” to help meet those needs and is the timing right. If you answered yes to all 3 then you are the right person to lead the charge to close that service need gap.

Oh, you have been here before. You have allowed pitfalls and potholes steal those opportunities in the past. Laurie Beth Jones in her book, “The Path” (1996) have described those pitfalls and potholes as feeling of inadequacy; as listening to the accusations of others; as small mindedness, fear impatience, apathy or just old fashion procrastination and distractions. I say forget about those pitfalls and potholes, especially if you have all the ingredients (opportunity, ability and desire) aligned. We need you; especially in today’s world. Strong active leadership can invigorate our economy and help meet the needs in our community. Can we count on you to say, “Here am I! Send me.”

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