Tabitha and I have already spent some time at the Cornerstone Leadership Academy–both the Boys’ school and the Girls’ school, where I did a program about finding the treasure in our gifts from God. We’ve been asked to develop leadership programs and presentations for other groups, so we’ve been working on those, too.
The other night, I got a lesson and some insights into leadership in a rather unusual way.
Tabitha and her husband Stone invited me for a visit in the home where they’ve raised their children and where I could meet other members of their family. Just as we pulled up in the car, the power went out, and the whole neighborhood was in darkness. The path from the road to their house is down a hill that was uneven and in some places, muddy. Stone took my hand and was helping me along, but it was still slow going. (Picture yourself trying to do something like this blindfolded; that’s how dark it was.)
We passed a place where Stone was able to purchase a flashlight, and he was trying to light the path for me.
“Just shine it on your feet,” I told him. “Then I can see where I should step.”
He did, and from then on, I followed in his footsteps–literally! All I had to do was see where he stepped, and then step in the same spot. I had complete faith in Stone. I didn’t need to see where we were going (I couldn’t anyway), and I was never tempted to look up or look around. Besides, I didn’t dare!
That’s how we got safely down the hill, and after a lovely visit by candlelight, it’s how we got safely back up the hill to where our car was parked.
That’s when I realized what a great lesson this was in leadership. And in “followership.” Because in order for any team to be effective, the most important job of someone who is following is to trust the leader. And the most important job of the person who is leading is to deserve that trust.
I found out from Stone the next day that the power, which had gone out just as we were arriving, went back on again right after we left. Some would say that was pure coincidence, but I don’t believe it. I think it much more likely that this was a lesson in leadership that God wanted me to experience and to learnwantedme to learn. And I certainly did!