Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Apprentice

Consistent with the CPDC vision to leadership development, college and university students have undergone the Habitude leadership course by Tim Elmore. One of the young graduates who chose to remain anonymous shared an encouraging testimony of how the Lord taught her a lesson while she went for a McKinsey interview. (Just to give an idea how tough it is to get a job here, let's just say the process is similar to TV reality show The Apprentice)

Cause here you have to compete with a bunch of the brightest graduates around, going through a long series of workshops and get risk 'elimination' after each round.

The first assignment was to write an essay on "Which leader inspired you the most? Why?" My friend thought she would write something true to herself. So naturally, she wrote about Jesus and passed it up.

But when the Director asked the group of young guns, "Who's the inspirational leader you wrote about?" answers came up like "Clinton!", "Gandhi", "Mother Theresa", "Bill Gates" and so on.

At that point, my friend was quite embarassed. Imagine how politically incorrect in that corporate setting to say, "Jesus!" She remained silent.

But just then, the Director produced a selected essay and read it out:
"This is the best essay I've seen. It's original and I want you all to be like this".

Guess what? It's her essay about Jesus. And she felt the Lord is teaching a lesson here, "You don't need to be embarassed of me. Stand tall for Me in the marketplace".

Wanna know what she wrote? Here is the essay:


A leader whom I admire greatly once told me, that to be a great leader, one must be the servant of all. As paradoxical as it sounds, it holds great depth of meaning in addressing the qualities of a leader.

I believe for a leader to be a servant of all he must first possess humility, a heart that is teachable. He must be willing to learn not only from the mighty and the strong but also from the weak, plain and simple. A humble leader is also one who is willing to serve and to work side-by-side with his followers, seeing them as his equals.

Integrity is also another essence of a leader. There must be a consistency between what he preaches and what he practises – ‘walking the talk’ in his lifestyle and leading by it. Integrity in a leader also means a steadfast grip to values and beliefs in all circumstances and to remain wholesome through it.

Finally, I believe a leader should not only have dreams and visions but to be able to inspire others to achieve them. He must be able to bring out the strengths of each follower and also be ready to accept their weaknesses with respect, while achieving the goal. As Peter Drucker mentioned, “The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers”, it is imperative then for leaders to have not only the above mentioned qualities but definitely more and beyond in order to have followers.

1 comment:

James - Friedbeef said...

I think that was a well written essay which touched on qualities anyone could identify with, so I think it was accetable given the context. It is a fine line to balance between getting politically uncorrect and getting it just right.