While driving around South Africa, we came through a small town called Pilgrim’s Rest. This little town used to be a prominent gold rich area which was discovered during the Mining Rush of Africa during the mid to late 1800’s. This commenced what history taught us – ’The Scramble for Africa’, where European powers divided Africa to invade, occupy and colonize this great continent for all its natural resources. The wealth that was produced as a result was simply unimaginable.
One of the guys on our tour bus asked the tour guide – if there was so much of gold and diamonds right under the ground , why didn’t the Africans do what the Europeans did? The reply astounded me. Our tour guide said, “because we (The African’s) did not know what it was worth”. A sad reality. Today, the continent depends so much on mining of precious metals and resources as its key economic contributor.
Can you imagine what would history and the present have looked like if the original inhabitants of this land would have known the true worth of what they possessed within their land and acted on it?
This triggered a thought in my heart and mind about being a husband, dad, business and church leader. With the people who God has entrusted us to walk with and lead, He has placed deposits in their lives. As a leader (husband, parent, boss, leader, etc.) we have the responsibility to get the ones are leading to realise and live up to their fullest potential.
To do so, it requires that we:
If the initial explorers wouldn’t have spent time and effort to identify what laid hidden, the world wouldn’t have seen or enjoyed the vast abundance of resources that Africa had to offer.
In the same way, we need to invest time and effort to identify and draw out the potential that may lay concealed in the lives of those we are leading.
Like natural resources which are extracted, its true worth and potential is recognized only after it has been refined.
As a leader, I sometimes think/wish that I would get to lead people who are the finished product. But true leadership requires us to put in the time, energy and effort to refine the potential, talents and giftings of the ones we lead. To walk with them, mentor them, giving feedback, believe in them even when it’s so hard to see the true potential coming through. The process of refining means we need to allow a passing through the fire so that the grime gets off producing the best.
While the Europeans exploited the riches of Africa for primarily their own gain, as leaders we need to empower the ones we lead to operating in the potential they have. We believe in them and create a platform for their giftings to be utilised for the honor of God and for the benefit of those around us. We Identify, Refine and get out-of-the-way so that they are Empowered.
Candice & I have been so privileged to be blessed with amazing leaders who have constantly poured into our lives over the years. They have identified the potential in us, walked (and still walk) with us to refine who we are. They have always empowered us and believed in us even when we doubted if we could do it.
As parents, leaders in the workplace and church, it is our responsibility to do the same with those God has entrusted us to lead.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves”