Saturday, January 2, 2016

Leadership is Headship not Tailship

UV 1629/10000 Leadership is Headship not Tailship

And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:

Deuteronomy 28 v 13

“ The ancient and honourable is the head while the prophet who teaches lies is the tail” by definition of scripture. God is the head of the universe, the head of heaven and earth and all that is in it, the head of the human family. It is intended that those who follow the Lord be likewise the head and not the tail. The tail is only an appendix that can be cut off or it is dispensable. The tail is a symbol of weak and ineffective leadership. Most of the leaders throughout history have acted as tails when they should have been heads. Those who are strongly committed to the truth are destined to be heads and not tails. It is intended by the Lord that those who follow Him faithfully become leaders of humanity, leaders in the nations, leaders in their professions and localities. They shall be “above” pettiness and meanness, above want, above wickedness and corruption. They shall not come under the shadow of scams and scandals. The only precondition is that they diligently listen, study, meditate, observe, absorb, apply or “do” the commands of the Lord. The words “ this day” implies that our past record of leadership does not count – it is only what we do now.

Leadership has the functions of the human head- to see or envision, to think or to look beyond the superficial reality and find the inner meaning of things, the ultimate purpose of life, to find solutions to difficulties, problems and challenges, to expand or grow and develop in positive ways. Leadership has the function of hearing or to listen to feedback. It has the function of being the mouthpiece or to communicate truths that have been learnt. Like the head is also the face of a person, a leader is the face of a nation, an organisation, a corporate, a family. Like the face is the index of the heart, the leader reflects the state of the nation or organisation or business. Just as the face breaks into a smile or tears or signs of surprise or anger or indignation, it is the leader’s role to motivate, to move, to inspire, to cheer up the followers. Just as the head is the crown of the human body, the leader is the one who bears the responsibility as well as honour. Just as the head turns on the neck, the leader is the one who takes the nation, the organisation or business in new directions, initiatives and course corrections. He is the direction finder, the one who determines and decides what paths the nation or organisation needs to take. The leader is the one who plans ahead of time about fulfilling the needs of the whole body. The leader is the one who imagines and dreams. He is the one who takes steps for the protection, safety and security of the whole being or whole organisation. The head feeds the whole body but it does not retain the entire nourishment but sees that it is equitably distributed to the different parts. Similarly, leaders should not be avaricious and try to corner all the gains or collect all the wealth for their own use but distribute it proportionately according to the varied needs of the followers. The glands for growth are located in the head – so likewise, a leader should plan for the growth of the entire nation, organisation or business to take it to the next level. The head plans for rest, recreation and recuperation of the body at appropriate times. So also leaders need to provide for breaks, relaxation and recovery of followers. The head is the hardest or strongest part of the human skeleton. It protects the softest and most valuable part of the body- the brain. Similarly, leaders need to be strong to endure the toughest times and challenges. But they need to be soft and compassionate internally or at their heart level. Leadership is eventually a fine combination of hard and soft skills and strategies. We got to be hard in the hard areas and soft in the soft areas.

Just as the head is the pivot of the body, Christ is the head of the church, a body of believers in His vision, mission and passion. As leaders, we are expected to imitate or emulate Him in how He gave up all the privileges of heaven to come to the earth in a humble form and how He ministered or served people in a variety of need situations and finally, gave Himself up for the well being of humanity. Even today, instead of judging people, He acts as an intercessor and mediator before and besides the Father’s throne. We, too as leaders called and anointed by Christ should not judge but help others achieve their potential to be heads and not tails.

Prateep V Philip

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