Campus Alive

February 27, 2008

Who Is A Good Leader?

Filed under: Message,Sharing — campusalive @ 3:59 pm

Candidate A

Name: Sandra
She’s a international student in Yale University from Maldives and she holds position in the Model United Nations as well as the Honors Chemistry Society. She describes herself as a hardworking person and never sleeps until she gets things done. She is known among her friends as the Alpha Female because of her intelligence and her all-roundedness. She has a strong sense of justice, which is explained by her upbringing as a child to a police officer. However, she also admits that it is sometimes hard for her to identify with others who are not like her. She also mentions how she lacks in people-skills because she sometimes find it hard to engage friendly talks with people who are not similar to her.

Candidate B

Name: Ben
Ben is a very outgoing guy. He is the guy whom everyone wants to be friend with. He always has a way with people and to make people laugh. People also generally go to him when they have problems. Even though he will normally approach these people with lots of jokes, he doesn’t exactly provide much constructive criticism and advices to his friends. He is quick in his thinking, doesn’t engage long in a thought, and proceeds with things rapidly. He is also strong physically and he had won 2 intramurals championships in swimming for the past 2 years of his college life. He is going to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from a California State University with double major in Computer Science and Social Science. His ultimate goal in life is to be a successful programmer in a secular organizations and spending his leisure time doing some charity works.

Candidate C

Name: Kylara
Kylara is a graduate student in University of Minnesota. She graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor degree in Public Policy. She is a bookworm and she is constantly seen with a book in her hand. She likes to hang out with people who share the same interest as she does. She is always seen in the library and she considers herself to be a quite introvert person. However, she is good at solving math problems and thus, people always come to her in the library and ask for help with their problem sets. She is involved in the Student Government as a treasurer because she prefers to work alone and to deal with the money instead of having to talk a lot. She is actively engaged in the online community, having served at some forums and other online communities. She doesn’t talk much but when she does talk, her words matter and count.

Candidate D

Name: Adam
Adam is a very independent guy. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in mathematics. Adam is a multi-talented guy with wide range of interest. He was a member of the Wind Esemble Team in Dartmouth; he is also the editor for the school magazine. Apart from that, he becomes a Resident Assistant to his House and has engaged in various non-profit charity works before. He is a Caucasian with a strong “Southern” background to himself. He, however claims to not be racist in any sense and that he is friends to everyone without discriminating their color and creed. He is generally a like-able person and people seem to get along well with him. He claims that his main weakness is the inability to cope with excess pressure. That is one of the reasons he gets involved in music: to release some stress.

Candidate E

Name: John
John is a social worker in World Vision headquarter in New York. He does not have any college degrees and he stops schooling since he was 14. He had to help support his family by working part-time as a restaurant waiter and as a bartender at night. He joins World Vision because he understands that there are a lot of people who are probably more unfortunate that he is and thus, he wants to help them. His effort however doesn’t bring much consistent income to his family and because of that, his family are constantly relying on government’s money to survive on a monthly basis. He does think about going back to college “to get some papers” but he is not sure when he will have enough money to do so.

So, we have 5 person and imagine that they land on an island with no possibility of being saved by any planes whatsoever. Who will you elect as the leader of this group? Why?

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Perhaps by now, you are scrolling up and down and compare the strength/weakness of each candidates. Perhaps you already have a candidate at the back of your mind. Who is it going to be? The math major? The illiterate social worker? Or the Alpha Female?

Whichever your choice is, you must have thought it through rationally and you must have weighed his/her strengths/weaknesses against other candidates.

All right.
To find the answer to this question, let’s look at the scripture.

Luke 5

The Calling of the First Disciples

1One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a]with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, 2he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down[b] the nets for a catch.”

5Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” 11So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

In the scriptures, Simon was trying to catch some fish all night long but to no avail. When Jesus came and told him to put down his net into the deep water, he obeyed because he had tried everything else and nothing worked. His faith landed him with a heavy caught so heavy that he needed two boats and both boats began to sink. After that, he was so shameful to face Jesus but Jesus reassured him and made him the fisher of men.

The moral of the story?
Peter is faithful to Jesus (by obeying His command to let the net down to the deep water)
Peter is available to Jesus (He was there in the water)
Peter is teachable. (he becomes the fisher of men after Jesus told him to not be afraid)

The point of me going through all these things is to highlight one thing. Jesus doesn’t see how many As you have. He doesn’t see if you are an introvert or an extrovert. A good leader, like Peter, should just be faithful, available, and teachable.

We, as human being, are always quick to notice out people’s weakness. That’s what the exercise above was all about. You might have said, “Hmm… Sandra doesn’t seem like a good leader because ….” We only fix out eyes on people’s fault but God just wants someone who is faithful, available, and teachable.

The real thing is that, all the candidates above can be good leaders if we give them a chance. It is us, people who love to judge others by their strength and weakness, that complicates things.

I’ll ask again, who is a good leader? Still having a preference to a certain candidate or have you come to accept that these people are good leaders if they are F.A.T. ?

In His service,
Leen

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