• Jason Bankston


Leadership is an act of faith. "Faith" is what separates leaders from managers. Managers have lots of ways to mandate their day--rules, schedules, plans, and procedures. Leaders go beyond this by inspiring people to have faith in a vision...faith in their own abilities to carry out that vision.

Faith begins with trust. You must trust in people. Believe that if given the responsibility, the authority, people will choose the right course of action.

This kind of faith is identical to the faith parents display with their children. A parent encourages their child to try, yet does not scold them when they falter.

A good leader is not someone to lean on, but someone who makes leaning unnecessary.

That takes faith that the other person can, if given the opportunity, do the job as well or even better than you can.

That means faith enough not to hover, to let the individual find satisfaction in small successes that are not nitpicked into meaninglessness. Small successes, which build confidence for progressively larger endeavors.

Initially you feel you could probably do it better yourself. And you probably could. Yet to build faith in the other person, you must say nothing.

A leader's job is to make people feel so good about themselves that they will risk change. They help people to choose between the status quo, and attempting greatness, between caution and courage, between dependency and autonomy. This takes a 'leap of faith' in the individual.

Faith by definition means a belief in that which in not visible. More often, leaders are idealists who see more than meets the eye. The best leaders have seen the oak tree confined in the acorn.

Anyone can hold up a mirror to the world and reflect its harsh realities. It takes a leader to hold up visions of a better world, to distort the mirrors just enough to give us a glimpse of inner possibilities.

That takes monumental faith. Faith to see qualities that are not visible. To see others not as they are, but as they may yet become. See life not as it is, but as it should be. Do you have faith in others? Do you have faith in yourself? Have faith that you are great. Believe that you are the best you can be and each day you will be better than the last.




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