You don’t have to play in the Super Bowl to be a super leader
by Stan Toler
My friend, Billy Bajema, Tight End for the Baltimore Ravens, is a leader on and off the field. When I served as his pastor in Oklahoma City, I watched him grow into the disciplined young man that made him a standout in high school and college sports, and then in the National Football league.
This week he will play in the NFL’s showcase event, the Super Bowl. But the qualities and values that brought him to this national event were born and grew in his heart long before.
Of course you don’t have to play in the Super Bowl to be a super leader. There may be as many leadership styles as there are leaders, but there is one thing all leaders have in common: they lead by example. Leaders set the bar for their followers.
They are examples in their faith. Your team members need to know how to manufacture or sell widgets; but most of all, they need to know how to live. There are divine moments when you put aside the coach’s clipboard and simply live your values and beliefs. The Bible says to let your light shine before others so they may glorify your Father in heaven.
Belief plus practice plus vision equals faith.
Leaders are examples in their work ethic. Like it or not, those whom we lead not only look at the way we give assignments, they notice how we carry out the assignments given to us by our own leaders. John Maxwell said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
Leaders are examples in their interrelationships. Going for the gold must include the Golden Rule. A stellar work ethic combined with good managerial skills is a winning link. You may have to take the courageous step of asking your peers to evaluate your people skills, but in the process, you may learn something about your management that could make a million-dollar difference in your career.
They also are examples in their lifestyle choices. For example, good spending habits are better modeled than demanded. Extravagance in the lifestyle of the leadership will result in extravagant choices by the team. You will either bite the bullet now or bite the dust later, it’s your choice.
You are loved,