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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Leadership Posture

When I was seventeen-year-old, I joined the US Navy. Here is where I saw positional leadership up close and personal. These positions were usually earned by time in service and were not necessarily because the person was capable of leading.

Regardless of the way one achieves a leadership position, something occurs when the opportunity to lead is given. There is a change that takes place in people when they are positioned as a leader.

The change for many is visible as they begin to assume a “leadership posture”. This seems to affect most people to one degree or another. This posture can be seen when someone’s countenance shifts from one of composed and restrained to a mindset where they become assertive and forceful.

Why does this take place? What happens that causes someone to assume a posture of leadership?

I believe, a “leadership posture” is an expression of the weight of the position someone has been given. In some, it is as if they become a different person.

I have watched this take place when something as simple as allowing someone to lead or chair a meeting transforms them from a person with a quiet and subdued demeanor to someone with an attitude of superiority.

These changes are not just seen in the way their tone and volume changes; you can see a physical change occur. Suddenly, they may sit up taller or recline further back in their chairs. Some will cross their legs and begin to tap on the table or desk.

This is the power of position, and it is an amazing transformation to watch.

Here is where people forget what it was like on the other side of the sudden authority, they perceive their position gives them. I believe this is a perception simply because most people will only submit to an authoritative leader for so long.

My exposure to business, church and educational leaders has allowed me to determine this “leadership posture “is not limited to a particular genre. It is universal and affects both men and women.

If we can agree this is true, we must ask ourselves if we are like this. Do we change our posture when leading others? Do we suddenly become superior in our own eyes?

Though we may struggle to answer these questions, those around us know whether they are true of us or not. Even if we won’t admit it or cannot see it in ourselves.

Does leadership require us to change? Perhaps, but it does not require us to assume a posture that desires to impose itself on others. In fact, a real leader’s posture will be one that invites others to join them at the table.

When they do, they will find those around them will assume a posture of service and will give their best when they do.

What is your “leadership posture”? If you are not sure, pay attention the next time you are surrounded by those you have been given the opportunity to lead.

Your true posture will be evident in the way others respond to you!

Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

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