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Steve Lyston | The seriousness of leading and managing

Published:Monday | April 8, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Pedestrians walk by a statue of Jamaica's fisrt two pilitical leaders, Norman Manley and Alexander Bustamante, adjacent the entrance of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica. The cousins oversaw Jamaica's transition to indpendence in 1962.

Managing people is not an easy task, particularly since it involves coordinating tasks with people of varying personalities, ways of thinking, different levels of maturity, and the personal struggles and issues taking place in the life of each individual. Everything will spill over on to the organisations negatively. Some managers try to ignore the personal aspects of their employees’ lives and see them just as a part of the business equation. Many of these managers don’t see beyond making a profit. For those who care, life goes beyond the workplace.

Anybody can be a manager, but not every manager is a leader, and we need real leaders to drive the organisations forward. Leadership is a gift given by God (Romans 12: 3 – 8). Leadership is to be ­exercised with mercy and compassion – especially in moulding, supervising and delegating.

One thing I have learnt about leadership is that not everyone is called to lead. But to be a good leader, a person must first learn to follow well. They must be ­teachable and willing to learn.

Sometimes people may see themselves as more qualified than those who lead them – especially on paper – hence problems arise. They refuse to follow or cooperate; but the truth is, leadership is more than what you have on a piece of paper. It is at this point that undermining starts coming to the forefront. You can be brilliant without common sense.


Leadership refers to one standing in front. As a leader, you have to take others to places they have never been and bring out of them the hidden potential that they never knew was within.

We have seen people studying just to prove that they are brighter and better than others, including their boss; and if that is the motive behind a person’s studies, they are headed for a fall. So they become bright on paper but fail in performance. So basic common sense is no longer common.

Good leaders are hard to find, and even the people no longer know what to look for in a good leader. Good leadership goes beyond colour, academic qualifications and the gift of gab. We need leaders who will not abandon their staff/co-workers during the time of storm. They will stand with you even through hard times and look to God as their strength.

Good leaders are willing to be politically incorrect and are not self-centred.

If God has not called you to lead, and you don’t possess the necessary gifts and talents for that, then leave it alone.

If you are not willing to be led, then you are not qualified to lead. If you are a follower and you are ­competing with your leader, you have already failed, and will continue a cycle of failure when entrusted with the opportunity to lead.

Good leaders must be patient. It is better for them to lose with the right person than win with the wrong one.

A good leader must be willing to fast and pray. If you don’t fast, you will become prey.

It is sad to say, but the Church should be the ones teaching the world about leadership through God’s way. But many church ­leaders have the wrong perception. They would prefer to connect with, and in some cases support, those leaders of whom they have the wrong perception – often those who have the big buildings and are famous. They prefer to connect with those who would even give them accolades. Because they are not discerning well, they walk in deception, hurt and betrayal.

A true leader must have insight to see ahead and prepare the people to deal with the blessings or the challenges ahead.

A true leader must be inspired by God and flow with His leading. What looks like chaos may be order and change taking place in your favour.

A true leader teaches their ­followers faith and hope despite what they see. They must know their own weaknesses and strengths and not be afraid of criticisms. They must, instead, use them as opportunities to improve and to become better than their opponents.

- Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including ‘End Time Finance’ and ‘The New Millionaire’.