Go Ye Therefore

Leadership Qualities: Initiative Part 4

Earmark of True Leader-Jonah 2:10-3:10 (negative)

One earmark of a true leader is the display of initiative. By definition, leaders cannot wait for someone else to move; if they do, they are really followers, not leaders. Initiative requires an element of risk, faith, and foresight.

Why Do We Fail to Initiate?

It seems easier to run from a challenge than to step out and take a risk. When we initiate, we commit ourselves to a direction. We may feel uncertain about what the future holds. What if we change our minds? What if no one follows? What if we fail in front of our followers? We run from commitment and initiative for a variety of reasons.

Reason Issue
1. We are afraid we’ll be unable to keep the commitment 1. Low sense of security
2. We suspect we might find “greener grass” somewhere else. 2. Paralyzed will
3. We expend time and energy only for personal gain. 3. No surrender
4. Our past makes trust difficult. 4. Emotional baggage
5. We are lazy and unmotivated. 5. Apathy and neutrality
6. We fear the risk of being rejected. 6. Poor self-esteem
7. We fear the unknown and unfamiliar. 7. Low confidence
8. We don’t want to lose our freedom. 8. Entitlement philosophy
9. We fear being different from others. 9. Politically correct
10. We don’t really know who we are. 10. Gifts and calling


Jonah had to learn initiative. It started with learning submission to God. Once we surrender to His call on our life and leadership, we can step out to follow Him. We can take risk because our future lies in His hands. What happens when we accept God’s call to initiate and commit?

  1. We assume healthy personal responsibility.
  2. We’ll likely see many come to faith in God.
  3. We receive a God-given time and place to gain perspective.
  4. We deepen our experience of worship and prayer.
  5. We progress toward a new level of personal freedom.
  6. We enjoy partnership with God.
  7. We gain the satisfaction of seeing changed lives.

Join me next time for Leadership Qualities: Initiative Part 5