For those seeking to grow spiritually, seeking a leadership position can provide a unique opportunity to achieve that goal. After all, good leadership requires that you develop a strength of character along with certain characteristics that go hand in hand with spiritual growth. Below are just seven ways that becoming a strong leader can also lead to personal spiritual growth.
Good leaders are self-assured. They aren’t kept awake at night with crippling doubt and insecurity and they don’t cave under pressure. Instead, they trust in their own ability to make wise decisions and do what is best for the group no matter how dire the circumstances.
You may ask, how does this lead to spiritual growth? If you are self-assured, then you know who you are and where you fit in this world. You trust in your strengths and you don’t lose time to crippling doubt and insecurity. As a result, you can’t be harmed by those who seek to tear you down due to their own sense of jealousy and insecurity. Furthermore, you don’t have to depend on others to bring you spiritual fulfillment because you already have it within yourself.
Contrary to how it might appear, humility is not the antithesis of self-assurance. These two spiritual qualities can, in fact, exist in harmony as long as they both appear in moderation. Without humility, a leader quickly becomes arrogant, rejecting other’s counsel and boasting of their accomplishments.
These leaders cause resentment because they take credit for the contributions of the ones they lead. A leader with humility, on the other hand, understands that they don’t have all the answers and asks for advice when needed. These leaders also give credit where it is due and acknowledge the contributions of others after the work is done.
It is human nature to seek the admiration of your peers, which is why the presence of humility is also a sign of tremendous spiritual growth.
“Humility is staying teachable, regardless of how much you already know.”
A strong leader never gives up at the first sign of a complication, especially when it concerns a good cause. They use their creativity and resourcefulness to try different methods until eventually they succeed, no matter how long it might take or how many challenges are thrown at them. Their resolve is immune to doubts. Rejection and failure can be demoralizing, but with persistence you can learn to see such setbacks as opportunities to try again using what you have learned. You don’t let the doubts and unkind remarks get to you because your goal is always clear in your mind. You know that your cause is right and you are confident that you will one day succeed. Once you do you will find that you have grown in strength and spirituality.
Another quality of strong leadership and spiritual growth is empathy, the ability to sense other people’s emotions and experience those emotions alongside them. While it is important to be able stand on your own two feet, another factor of strong leadership and spiritual growth is fostering a strong sense of community. You can build that community through showing empathy.
High School Blanket, a community empowerment solution, states the following about having community empathy, “A good example of group empathy is a sports team. Throughout their games the athletes are experiencing a mix of emotions. But it is when they all come together in emotion and purpose, they are able to empower and strengthen their community, the team, and themselves.”
When people know that you understand their feelings and feel their joys and sorrows alongside them, they are more likely to trust that you have their best interests at heart and follow your lead. Empathy isn’t always easy, however—sometimes it requires setting aside your own thoughts and opinions out of care and respect for the other. As such, employing empathy is another way that leadership skills lead to spiritual growth and maturity.
Most of us are familiar with this warning—never ask the universe for patience because fate will hear you and answer your prayer by sending difficult times your way. Nevertheless, patience is more than just a virtue. It is integral to good leadership and spiritual wellness.
Patience can have many meanings. On one hand, it can mean remaining calm even when your plans are stalled for unforeseen reasons. On the other hand, it can also mean remaining kind and courteous even when someone purposefully gets under your skin. Leadership teaches patience in both aspects—projects don’t always go according to plan, and group members don’t always get along. An effective leader learns to demonstrate patience in either situation and through the process becomes stronger both personally and spiritually.
As you might imagine, strong leadership requires wisdom. Some of the most remembered historical and mythical leaders (for example, King Solomon and the goddess Athena) are celebrated to this day for their wisdom. Wisdom is what helps you make the right decisions and navigate sticky situations.
Being wise doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to make the right decision 100% of the time. Instead, it means that you will use what you have learned in the past to make smart decisions about the future. This includes learning from past mistakes rather than hiding from them in shame. The wisdom gained from learning good leadership skills will benefit every facet of your life, particularly as you continue on your path towards spiritual growth.
“Knowledge comes from learning. Wisdom comes from living.”
– Anthony Douglas Williams Quotes To Live By
Sometimes even the most well-made plans don’t go the way they are supposed to. Effective leaders don’t let themselves get attached to just one way of doing things. Instead, they are flexible and willing to adjust the details of a plan to suit a changing situation.
The path to spiritual growth also requires flexibility, since life rarely goes the way you want it to. If you can’t be flexible, then instead of experiencing growth, you will stagnate. As you learn flexibility from the many challenges that you will face as a leader, you will find that your spiritual growth will also increase.
In short, developing the qualities associated with good leadership will also lead to spiritual growth. The presence of these qualities will improve not just your own personal leadership style, but also every facet of your life.
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