Where are the leaders?20 Dec 2016, Posted by Blog in
People often ask me my observations of the world after my travels. I often come home with mixed feelings about global leadership. This morning, I wanted to share an encouraging reflection about the kind of leaders we observed in 2016.
At first glance, it appears that the global stage lacks great leaders.
Where are leaders like Churchill, Mandela, King, or Wilberforce? Today’s leaders seem hollow. They act more like bureaucrats than visionaries, and many lack virtues of courage, duty, serenity and honor. Most global political and economic structures are amoral, so it depends heavily on healthy leadership.
Without leaders of conviction, nobility or faith, they are quickly suffocated by power, ego, and applause. Eric Metaxas in his recent book, If You Can Keep It, argues that freedom, virtue and faith must work together for any society to succeed. Freedom is worthless without virtuous leaders, and both will not persevere without faith. Os Guiness coined this interdependence as the Golden Triangle.
There is good news though.
Even though, at first glance, the global stage seems to be missing courageous and virtuous political and business leaders, my team and I have discovered that the greatest leaders often choose to live in the shadows.
Those who once pursued the seats of business executives and political office are now deciding to live in the slums of Africa, protect the lives of the innocent, work for ministries and foundations, or run businesses that give back. They are consciously turning down power and applause for the greater good.
Great leaders are often defined by what they are saying “no” to more than by what they are saying “yes” to. George Washington said no to being a king. Eric Liddell said no to racing at a Sunday Olympics, and Martin Luther King said no to violence.
These leaders will stand the test of time. My team and I are so grateful to travel the world, observe this global shift of leadership and tell the stories of these men and women who are quietly impacting thousands of lives.
As the Christians around the world gather to celebrate Christmas this week, be encouraged that the greatest leaders often live in obscurity. 2,016 years ago, homeless parents gave birth to a baby who refused political power and wealth to hang out with outcasts and sinners. This humble birth and life literally divided time and history; redefining leadership and calling those in power to sacrificially serve.
It is in obscurity that much of the world is changed, and our team at Silent Images has been honored to tell many of these stories in 2016.
Thanks for being on this journey with us. You have helped make 2016 the best year yet for Silent Images, and we are so thankful for your prayer and support. We are looking forward to telling the stories of more great leaders in 2017!
Merry Christmas and happy new year, friends.