Torch, Fall 1988

Q • How do you know a potential leader when you see one? A. I admire and respect people in leadership who are cool– headed but not cold-hearted. I think that we have to be warm towards people. If we become cold and mechanical or become wrapped up in ourselves, then we tend not to see all aspects of the issues with which we have to deal. I look for the kind of person who is loyal to the people who work under him. It is difficult to find loyalty that extends down to subordinates. Loyalty is more commonly expressed toward superiors and is probably a survival technique. Personally, I don 't think a person can be a good leader if he does not recognize a superior Being in his life. If one sees himself as the ultimate authority, then he tends to lead based upon how he feels at that particular time. Recognizing God in his life and knowing that he is responsible to Him tends to moderate and stabilize the leader from day to day, from person to person, and from situation to situation. He has more equity in his leadership role, and this is one of the greatest confidence builders in the people whom he is leading. I also look for the quality of integrity. Q • How do you discern a person's integrity? A. I have a difficult time trying to compartmentalize integrity. I see it as a part of one's entire lifestyle. I have challenged people in the military who speak of a person who is faithful in handling classified material properly, but who does not respect his marriage vows. If one does not take marriage seriously, why should I expect him to take any other vow seriously? A person with integrity indicates it across the entire spectrum of his or her life. Q • To what extent can leadership skills be taught or devel– oped in potential leaders? Is leadership strictly an inborn trait or 1s it something that can be nurtured or taught? A. I think it can be learned, but whether it is best taught infor– mally or formally, I am not sure. I think there can be a schooling experience in which principles of leadership are taught. Also learning from a leader who is a role model is most important. see people who independently seek out individual challenges with regard for others becoming leaders. Q • What advice might you offer a prospective leader? A. Apprentice yourself to someone, and apprentice yourself to situations. Take on responsibility in which you have to make decisions and be held accountable for the results you achieve. Rather than having narrowly-defined goals and just one area of expertise, be a well-rounded, balanced person in all aspects of life. In some respects the leader can be likened to the husband of Ephesians 5:23-29 in that he recognizes the stewardship he has for his followers . A good leader must be prepared to build and uplife his subordinates. "And he said unto him, Well , thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. Luke 19:17 12