Imagine that you have been walking along an isolated road for two days with no food or water and the sun is blazing down on you. Suddenly, you notice a well in the distance. Even though you are tired, you run with anticipation because you know that your thirst will be quenched. When you reach the well, however, you see a rope dangling over the opening, but no bucket. Deep down inside the well is what you need to satisfy your thirst and sustain your life, but you have no access to it.
This is a picture of humanity cut off from its life-giving source. The leadership spirit exists deep down inside the makeup of every person because we are made in the image of our Creator and have an inherent dominion spirit. Yet we cannot fully manifest this gift in our lives because we do not have the resources to access it. We have lost the Spirit of the Creator, and we have lost our awareness of the leadership spirit, as well as the mind-set that enables us to exercise it effectively. Humanity’s lack of connection with the leadership spirit has led to a loss of true leadership in the world.
Let us look more closely at our dilemma through two related illustrations. First, water is potentially a source of power. When it is harnessed, it can be used to run machinery, such as in a water mill. For this to happen, however, (1) you have to have access to the water, and (2) you have to have the machinery in place. If you are unable to harness the water or you donot have the proper machinery set up, then the mill cannot fulfil its purpose. It is the same with the spirit of leadership.
The loss of the spirit of leadership is also like buying a new computer that has all the hardware to enable you to run programmes and carry out their functions but then not having any power source to run the computer.
Suppose, then, that you discover a power source and plug it in. The computer is powered on and ready to go, but you still need software for it to be of practical use to you. You have the knowledge of what the computer has been designed to do, and all the components of the hardware are ready for use. The potential is there, the ability is there, everything the manufacturer put into it is there, but it is almost as if you do not own a computer because you canot do anything with it.
These two examples illustrate the two-pronged nature of our problem. First, even though our potential as leaders is still within us, we have lost our connection with our Source of purpose and power. Second, even if the connection were to be reinstated, unless we obtain the right “machinery” or “software” – that is, unless we discover how a leader is meant to think and operate (the spirit of leadership) – we still won’t be able to fulfil our potential. Simply put, the leadership spirit is the inherent hardware, and the spirit of leadership is the software necessary for the hardware to function.
In the Bahamas where I live, we are located in an area called the “hurricane zone.” From time to time, we are subjected to the uncontrollable force of nature, as the phenomena of the elements conspire to remind us of our vulnerability. During the hurricane season of 2004, when the monster hurricanes named Gene and Francis followed each other on a path right across our archipelago, I remember how helpless I felt. My wife and I made all our preparations and then sat waiting for the long-announced arrival of the category 4 and 5 storms. During one of the storms, the winds bore down on us like a living monster and shook the battened-down windows.
Suddenly, the electricity went out, and we were left sitting in darkness.I reached for the flashlight and surveyed the room. Then I took a walk through the darkened house and checked everything to make sure the shutters were holding. As I examined the rooms with the flashlight, I noticed the many items we had accumulated that had become so important to us, but that now were completely useless: the large-screen television, VCR, CD players, air conditioners, computers, printers, and other high-tech “toys” we had purchased.
I stood there in the dark for a moment and thought about all the power, potential, benefits, pleasure, and untapped functions trapped in each of these items that were completely useless and unbeneficial to me at that moment. They existed, but they could not contribute to my present situation and life. They were filled to capacity with possibility, but they could not deliver. Why? Because they were cut off from their source – theirpower-supply.
I then saw a true picture of mankind: a powerful creature full of divine potential, talents, gifts, abilities, untapped capacity, creativity, ingenuity, and productivity, who himself had been cut off from his power supply. Now, he walks the earth, living far below his intended privilege and capacity, victimised by his ignorance of both his Source and himself.
The loss of our source of purpose and power has led to a myriad of negative outcomes because of the confusion that inevitably resulted. The following questions have been asked by countless generations since Adam declared independence from his Source:
* Who am I?
* Where am I from?
* Why am I here?
* What am I capable of doing?
* Where am I going?
These five questions summarise the essence of the human struggle and are what I, over the years, have called the questions of the human heart. They control everything that each human being does and are the motivation for all human behaviour. All our social, economic, spiritual, and relational activities spring from the pursuit of answers to these questions. Until they are answered satisfactorily, there can be no personal fulfilment, and life will have no meaning.
These questions address the five most important discoveries in the human experience: identity, heritage, purpose, potential, and destiny. They are the heart of the leadership struggle, and when answered, they give birth to true leadership.
Culled from THE SPIRIT LEADERSHIP by DR. MYLES MUNROE