Each of us functions in a different role at work. Some are managers and some are leaders. There have been volumes written on the difference between the two. There is an old proverb stating that managers are more focused on doing things right while leaders are more tuned to doing the right thing. Managers usually do what is necessary to maintain workplace structures and systems while leaders are normally more innovative and people-focused. Both are necessary and each is a call of God. There isn’t a right or wrong and one is not better than another. Knowing what you are and working in that context is important. For those of you who are serving as managers but have the gifts of leadership: why not step out and exercise your gifts? What is holding you back?
Jonathan was a leader. By occupation, he was a military leader. He found himself in a battle situation where his army was paralyzed with fear because of the formidable Philistine army surrounding them. To his soldiers, safety was more important than victory. So with just one soldier, Jonathan himself took on twenty of his enemies and defeated them so handily that the enemy army fled for fear. His leadership in the face of occupational adversity shined that day as it did many times in his work-life. Drawing from his stout leadership as seen in 1 Sam. 14:2-23, we see the following characteristics of a workplace leader…
First, Jonathan did what everyone else was afraid to do. Second, he took a risk (actually risked his life) to benefit and “bail out” his men from a difficult situation. Thirdly, he responded to and met a serious need . Finally, he trusted God for the outcome. His “employees” needed a leader that day, not a manager. His company was desperate for someone to step up and take charge. Perhaps yours is crying out for the same?
What is your role at work? Do you know? Will you admit you’re a leader if you are? If you are a workplace manager, be the best you can and thank God for your calling and vital role. If you are a leader, however, who is managing because you just want to “play it safe,” look around you and see that others need you to be the leader that God has equipped you to be. Take on necessary workplace challenges that others are afraid to embrace. Don’t take blind risks, but trust God to give you confidence to fulfill the giftedness He has entrusted to you. Your organization, its employees, and your God will be truly blessed if you will.