March 17, 2010

What is Required of a Leader?

The year was 1955 and a quarterback for the University of Louisville, with only 527 passing yards in his senior year, dreamed of playing in the National Football League. Following graduation, the determined young man was drafted in the ninth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers but released before the season began.

After writing many letters and knocking on many doors, the persistent quarterback was rejected a second time. Finally, after his third tryout, the Baltimore Colts signed Johnny Unitas as a third string quarterback. It was his first step in a professional career that ultimately led to the NFL Hall of Fame.

Leadership involves vision, commitment and the ability to motivate others, and the Golden Arm, Johnny U had all three attributes.

Of course, the perfect role model for leadership skills is Jesus of Nazareth. . Today, more than 2 billion people around the world follow Jesus, the most dynamic leader in history.

Jesus had a vision of a world where all people were motivated by love for one another. He had a passion for his message, and he had the ability to motivate others. Exceptional leaders, like Jesus, are also dedicated to a life of service to others. In the tenth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, we read:

“I tell you whoever wants to be great must be your servant. . . Even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.”

Whether it’s sports, the church, education, business or any other worthwhile endeavor, leadership requires commitment, vision, the ability to inspire others and service.