This semester I have taken time to say a great deal about where God plans to use me. I have always had a five-year plan, and honestly, it has almost been right in sync with reality. Regardless, I have still somehow ended up exactly where I wanted to be! But What now? I know so many of us are asking this as graduation for the first, pioneering MBA Cohort One approaches at Concordia University Texas this August. I am excited to say that, while a year and a half ago I was not clear in my exact future directions, I am now able to foresee the next 2 1/2 decades. With God’s good grace, the future appears hopeful and bright. Our MBA program successes have been because of him, and all the glory will forever be in his name! He has kept his promise; All things are possible through Christ. I truly hope you enjoy reading this community leadership manifesto, and catching a glimpse into my 30 year plan. My hope is that I will continue to lead within the communities who need arts the most. I hope many of you will unite with Purpose N-Motion in this 30 year journey of community and partnership! Enjoy 😀
Community Leadership Manifesto
Community leadership requires action combined with trust that God’s vision will fulfill us as the vessel. While we acknowledge challenges, we must believe that with God all things are possible. Memorable leaders have done this in our past, however it is clear that community leadership comes at a price. The following quotes speak to the current philosophy I hold on how adaptive leadership can make changes within the communities we serve.
“A man who wants to lead must turn his back to the crowd.” – James Crook
Leadership within one’s community requires focus, purpose, and selflessness. It is impossible to carry out a simple great idea to fix the world’s complex problems and expect it to in fact better the community at large. Short-term success must meet in line with long-term sustainability if social change is a priority. Often society does not invest in real problems until it is too late. American culture promotes ignoring failing systems until the symptoms begin to take focus. Even then, we often continue to pretend it is not happening. Shining light upon the real problem is our duty as a community leader. One may do this at any given time at both the local or state levels. However, this approach requires fanatic discipline in God and trust in his will to continually offer a way. The road to community leadership does not begin with holistic supporters. Therefore, it often is a lonely journey during the beginnings in igniting social and revolutionary change.
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader success is about growing others” –Unknown
As an authentic leader, one must draw on their own strengths and stay true to strong business principles. This requires organic self-discovery not only in theory, but also in daily practice. As I continue to sustain my commitments to growing others, my personal strengths serve me well in leading multiple groups. I have come to depend on my abilities and strengths to win others over, strategize situations, positively influence, innovate new and creative ideas, and stay open to lifelong learning with new lessons God brings my way. My grounded principles serve me well in accepting my community and the problems that it faces. My God-given gifts are the tools I have been graciously granted to begin real change. I wholly believe in change that is for the greatest and highest good, holds the power to transform the world into a better place, and has the proper sustainability needed for our future generations. The turning point in one’s leadership role begins the moment that others’ success becomes the true measure of one’s own success. This requires a new, revolutionary way of thinking about the communities in which we serve. It also recognizes that most people will not understand your logic, methodologies, or personal life choices. This is largely due to the social acceptance of success being growing oneself. Society all too often encourages egocentric behavior regardless if it is for self-serving purposes or not.
“I am a reflection of the community” –Tupac Shakur
This statement says it all. Whether we can claim that this be a good thing or a bad, identifies our personal frame of reference. My personal journey has led me to invest in a community one would proudly take credit in owning. Introduced as a young toddler, the dance community that I joined was a gift from my grandmother for entertainment purposes. However, the role it played in my adolescence, young adulthood, and even my present-day life has grown to become something deeper. While three-fourths of hopeful graduates in my high school dropped out by senior year, I excelled academically largely due to my commitment to God and dance which my community provided. In addition, in the midst of challenging family obstacles, I found all the resources needed to strive through my local art and after-school community programs.
Health, confidence, discipline, work ethic, coping methods for failure, achievement, sportsmanship, and creativity are all reflected from the involvement within positive dance communities. God’s reflection within a dance community leader is extremely powerful when coupled with these attributes. Therefore, my personal commitment to take this strategic leadership approach gears to reach community members before patterns of habit start. The Lord proclaims in Matt 19:14, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” We know God will faithfully give us the tools needed to change our communities in his glory, regardless of the external and societal factors people face. My intention as a Christian leader is to walk beside God as my senior partner and consultant for making community decisions. Furthermore, my policies are not my own, but his. Adaptive leadership results from listening and responding to what is right for the future generations of our globe, while also knowing when it is time to conserve sustainable attempts for a more ideal time. As I wake up each morning, I thrillingly look forward to what God has in store for the community and my company! My manifesto narrows down to one word, prayer. God speaks to us as a community of leaders; we need only listen.
“The ability to make people feel strong is the single most important contribution of leaders.” –Ross Barnett
The world around us transforms when one encourages strength in all creatures it meets. Community leadership is contagious, and requires a clear, creative way of thinking. It is vital that our intentions concentrate on this as a community. Fundamental change materializes one community at a time, but requires the true investment of self. My personal commitments to lead change include financial investment for opportunities that further glorify God, ending childhood obesity, empowering our youth though the art of dance, leading low-income children in arts education as a coping method, and supporting Lupus awareness. All these changes need help from community partners to share their God-given gifts in support of such taxing problems. When we trust that with God all things are possible, the right people always come our way, or rather his way.
My leadership philosophy aligns with the following ancient Chinese proverb:
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
My actions as a 21st century business owner continue to be strategic and sustainable. I urge every entrepreneur and community member to follow this philosophy. While personal sacrifice is real, our efforts to capture young citizens needed for such drastic changes, will undoubtedly plant the seeds required for a sustainable future. Because of love, our legacy as a human race is one of hopeful action that I continue to fully lead within my own communities. As the cycle of leadership transforms around me, my dedication is to sharing my story, my passion for dance and the arts, my business knowledge, faith, patience, and concrete experiences of his merciful works.
The following 30-year timeline is my deepest expectation as a young Christian leader, as always, if it is according to his plan. All objectives aim to give praise and glory to him and him alone, while also being fostered through young women and men within the community. God’s promise is that if we ask for things in HIS name, it will be given to us. My faith in achieving all this, for and with my community, is dependent on his guidance. My manifesto as a servant, community, adaptive, and most importantly Christian leader will continue to mold a future of hope just as he has promised. My leadership manifesto therefore shall forever be contradictory to studied models and theories; I am just a living instrument of the leader of the band. May my gifts greatly multiply instruments, sounds, and rhythms just as sweet, for our leader to conduct!
Additional leadership blogs worth reading:
- The positivity trap for leaders and followers (donaldepaor.com)
- Launching A Leadership Revolution (crossingbookstore.wordpress.com)
- Hard evidence that soft leadership skills matter (waywardjourney.com)
- Letter to Political Leaders (kaieteurnewsonline.com)
- The wisest words you will ever read on leadership and organisational change? (thecustomerblog.co.uk)
- Leader as Servant (whyleadnow.com)
- Douglas Groothuis’ Christian Apologetics Manifesto (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
- Feeling guilty makes you a better leader (lsvp.wordpress.com)
- Leadership Study Reveals Insights for Building Credibility and Presence (creativeconsiderations.wordpress.com)
- 9 Habits of Highly Productive Leaders (lifehack.org)