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Being a leader, whether in the marketplace, church, home or community is a trust given to you from those who have chosen to follow you. As a leader, you impart to those under your care, who you are, so what you see in them is actually a reflection of who you are as much as it is who they are. Many politicians, pastors, leaders, managers, coaches, parents look at those who are following them and get frustrated with the follower, rather than examining themselves as the leader. We multiply who we are! So, if you don’t like what you see in those following you, it is time to look at who you are, rather than complain about who they are, and watch how things change.

Ownership is a mark of leadership. If you can take ownership for the nation or organization you lead, the church you oversee, the family you are a part of or the marriage you are in, you will realize that to be a successful leader is to be a person who takes ownership of both successes and failures. Many times we do the dance of dysfunction and then wonder why we are not advancing, having success or seeing the increase we desire. It all starts with taking ownership, recognizing as the leader in any given situation, you set the atmosphere that others who have given you the privilege of following them, adhere to.

The media, for example, is an amplification of the leaders they follow, so whether you watch the more liberal CNN, the more semi-conservative FOX, listen to the extremely conservative Rush Limbaugh, or the MSNBC version of politics, you will hear a bent toward an agenda. One of the challenges most Americans have is we listen to opinions and either agree or disagree, we do not engage in the discussion, seek out the truth, or ask questions that lead to deeper understanding. It is a lot like penguins, they find all their food on the surface, even though they are aquatic animals that can dive deep into the waters for different food.

Since we are on the subject of penguins, did you know that they used to have wings, but over time they evolved into flightless birds, so they have the appearance of wings, but they can’t fly. People love to watch penguins, they are cute, fun to document, and make movies about, but they are birds that used to be able to fly. Who or what, over time caused their wings to become flippers, even though they look like wings? Sounds a lot like what political correctness has sought to do to Americans.

This is why it is critical to know your identity, exercise your authority and fulfill your destiny (Luke 15:22). You were created to be an eagle, you have wings, you need to fly. Many people are frustrated because they are eagles wearing a tuxedo. They know they were created to fly, but from politics to the pulpit people have pandered to you as a penguin, rather than empowered you to be an eagle. Fear is the root issue of why people want you to stay a penguin. Jesus said, “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering” (Luke 11:52). Jesus is not afraid of you being powerful, that is why he was a leader that provided leverage for his disciples, He was not a lid on them.

Leadership is trust that demands humility, which is a continual listening, learning, and loving. The more you lift up those who have chosen to follow your lead, the more their updraft will lift you up, for this kingdom is one of lifting up, not tearing down and the last time I checked, the national bird of the United States of America is an EAGLE! It’s time to stop playing politics with penguins and to start empowering eagles in every area of life.