Leadership and the place of power

If a leader’s role is serving then his only ‘power’ is moral authority. Sometimes authority must be called upon and a leader must ‘power up’ for the sake of serving their people best. For instance, sometimes you have to force love. You have to use power to overcome pride or independence in someone you lead. There are ways that our society/culture has indoctrinated us to the point that many of us are opposed asking for or even receiving help or favors. I’ve had to confront a roommate for calling a cab to take him somewhere when I had a car and was able to help. He didn’t ask because he had embraced the idea that it is better not to inconvenience others. I told him that it is a privilege to serve someone in my community and I was upset for having been cheated or robbed of the opportunity to meet his need.
Jesus looked at Peter when he refused to have his feet washed and answered “unless I wash your feet you have no place with me.” There are barriers that leaders must help crumble for people. It is in an act of service and love as well as other centered ambition that serves as a governing principle when it comes to keeping power within the realm of Justice.
Vision on the other hand is the place where leaders often fall in to a misuse of authority or power. They cast vision like a net and seek to capture others with it. Vision is rather something to be shared with each other. It is a communal commodity. The only vision that is broad enough to include all our collective visions and authoritative enough to adapt to is Jesus’ prayer that the kingdom would come to earth as it is in heaven.
The image of coxswain is powerful in that he sees what is coming, communicates, encourages, and makes the burden of himself small. A leader should not be oppressive and burdensome. Jesus said that his yoke is easy and burden light.