“You become the kind of leader that others want to follow not because of your position, but because of your passion.” (Doug Dickerson). This quote came up at a leadership round-table that I was leading a couple of weeks ago. As the conversation unfolded, most of the businessmen sitting around the table were convinced that leading from a position was the dominant style of leadership that they see in the business world today. There was even a moment or two of confession of drifting into this leadership style. I could tell this style of leadership did not sit well with them and they were determined to lead out of deep passion for their Lord, the job that the Lord had given them and the people that they have the opportunity to invest in and lead every day.

Positional leadership says, “I am the boss because of where I fall on the organizational chart and all of you will get in line behind me.”  In most cases, the leader is not growing himself. There is little to no investment in the people, which creates fear and frustration. There are side conversations in the office about how miserable everyone is. No one seems to know where they are going and morale is low.

Passionate leadership says, “I am the leader, we are a team, and we will work together to accomplish the goals set in front of us.” Passionate leaders invest. The invest in themselves so that they can grow and become more effective in leadership. They invest in the people around them and give a sense of “team” to everyone. Passionate leadership is not necessarily about where someone falls on an organizational chart. Passionate leadership takes more time, but in the long run the investment is worth it and you become the kind of leader others want to follow.

As we wrapped up the round-table discussion, the leaders came up with four action points that I want to share with you:

To become/remain passionate leaders that others want to follow, we must focus daily on:

  1. Personal spiritual growth – Connect deeply with the Lord in Bible study and prayer. Take a few minutes and pray for the people that you lead and the leaders that may be above you. Passionate leadership begins with deepening one’s walk with Jesus.
  2. Personal work related growth – Leaders have to grow in the area of specialization. If the leader is not growing, the team is not growing. A passionate leader invests in this way so that they can be at the top of their leadership game for everyone.
  3. Accountablity – Passionate leaders desire accountability. They want 1-3 people in their lives that know their weaknesses, love them, pray for them, encourage them and are not afraid to confront them. Accountability makes a passionate leader even better.
  4. Invest in the team – Passionate leaders see the people around them as a team. For a team to function at its highest level, the leader has to invest in them. It may be a word of encouragement or specific ways that they can grow themselves…The point is: spend some time with the team and allow them to see and get to know you. As they see and get to know you, your passion for the Lord, for the job that He has given you and the team around you, becomes evident to them. Your passion will be felt, seen and heard, and you cannot help but create more followers when you lead this way.

Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

My prayer for you and me is that each day, no matter where we fall on an organizational chart, we will choose to lead from a place of passion and not a place of position. When we choose to lead from the place of passion, our impact for the Kingdom will be great.