Building Servant Hearts

Leading with Heart

An Abundance Mentality

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At our Wellspring Foundation for Education team meeting on Friday in Rwanda the key topic of leadership surfaced. The team consists of many different individuals each contributing and using their strengths and talents in service to the organization. Specifically, we looked at how do you develop and multiply leadership in any organization that has such diverse people with a variety of gifts? In other words, how do you develop abundant leadership? 

Looking around the room during the meeting it was quite evident that most if not all of the team members were leaders. However I would suspect that not all felt they were and that there position was not viewed as a leadership position.

It was a great discussion and we wrestled with questions including:

  1. How do you know if you are a leader?
  2. What does it mean to be a leader?
  3. What attributes do leaders demonstrate?
  4. Can we all lead from where we are?
  5. Do I have the skills and abilities to be a leader?
  6. How can I use my skills and abilities to lead?

After bouncing these questions around a consensus seemed to be reached in answer to the questions. The conclusions included:

  1. Yes, we all have the capability to lead however each of us will use our different strengths, skills and abilities to lead.
  2. Leadership is a choice and the question is not if I can lead but when.
  3. You can lead from where you are. Each of us can be used to influence others no matter what role, responsibility or position that you are in.
  4. Not all followers want to follow the same leader. People will choose to be lead by someone who resonates with them.
  5. All organizations require a team of leaders working together to influence, impact and lead.

Afterwards, upon further individual reflection I got a tremendous feeling of relief. As someone who has been driven to make sure that I have to be the person to lead everyone, all of the time and to be the one held accountable, this took tremendous pressure off. I finally realized that it is not my responsibility, nor my right to assume that I had to be all things to all people. I wish that I had discovered this a lot sooner in my career as an educational leader. Even though I felt I was someone who shared leadership responsibilities and collaborated effectively, I assumed in retrospect I had to be Mr. Super Leader. How prideful and arrogant is that!

So if we can safely assume that the Wellspring team in Rwanda is similar to other organizations with diverse people each with different leadership attributes how can you intentionally go about developing an abundant leadership culture?

Tim Keller and Katherine Leary Alsdorf in their book Every Good Endeavor provide some advice. At Redeemer Church in New York they have instituted a faith and work ministry where their goal is raise leaders who can integrate their work with their faith. They use a three-stage process of equipping leaders, connecting leaders and mobilizing leaders to first change themselves and secondly equip, connect and mobilize them to go out and do the same for others. They are intentionally developing leaders from within to take on leadership and to lead others. Each participant has his or her own strengths and talents that are used to touch and influence other people. I believe in Keller’s and Leary Alsdorf’s concept and it fits in well with how Wellspring is developing abundant leadership. This is a main pillar in Wellspring’s pursuit of changing lives in Rwanda through education.

Abundant Leadership is needed everywhere because all organizations whether small or large need to equip, connect and mobilize their people to lead. We all encounter situations that bring us into contact with someone looking for an individual to assume leadership. Whether it is to solve a problem, lead a project, deal with an issue or to be available to listen and support, sooner rather than later we are all faced with a choice. Do we take the lead or not? Would it not be beneficial if you were equipped to lead? I am blessed that I serve in an organization committed to make abundant leadership a reality.wellspring_logo

To find out more about the Wellspring Foundation for Education click on the Wellspring Logo                                                                                                                                                                                        

Claudio Morelli

About Claudio Morelli

Maximizing the strengths and growth of individuals has always been my mission and passion. As a former Superintendent of Schools\CEO I have now transitioned into a season with a renewed mission. Initiating and fanning the flame of men who seriously wish to enhance their presence in the lives of their loved ones is my current passion. I have experienced a lifetime full of trials with much success, with some failures, and with many mistakes. Six decades of life has taught me that the investment and presence in building lasting relationships is critical to a lifetime of fulfillment.

4 Replies

  1. Phocas

    Dear Claudio, thanks for sharing this blog. Abundant leadership is about service, sharing, empowering ….. I like your insight when you said that Abundant leadership includes servant leadership. Thanks for choosing to come to Rwanda to empower WA School with abundant leadership in Education sector. Blessings

    1. Thank you Phocas. I am honoured and blessed to be working with the Wellspring team in Rwanda. It is all about service as you know.
      Best to you!

  2. Great post! I love your realization, and this quote, “Not all followers want to follow the same leader. People will choose to be lead by someone who resonates with them.”

    1. Thanks Chery for commenting. Honoured by you taking the time to comment. Personally, I came to the realization that others on your team do a better job in leading some which I could not. Building a diverse team, each with their own strengths, is critical to effectiveness.

      Regards, Claudio