[February 4, 2019] The motto at the U.S. Army Infantry School is “Follow Me.” Implicit, but utterly clear is their message that a leader is always on point; out in front of others and making things happen properly. This is where we get the old saying that great leaders forever lead from the front. Real leaders never lead from behind.
“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.” – 1 Timothy 3:1, Qualification for Overseers
While the concept of being always on point is spoken about most often in military circles, the idea is not unknown elsewhere. The quote above from the Christian Bible tells us that leaders (in this case, the overseer) must be trustworthy if he is to aspire to office. And, it follows, that being a leader means, therefore, to seek a noble task.
Only through shouldering great responsibility, achievable by being on point, can this be a noble cause. The requirements of this responsibility are laid out well later in the Bible (see footnote 1). But to be on point is not an easy task for anyone. It is difficult because it requires the leader to be “sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard …”
In my leadership blog, there has been a consistent and long-running theme that good leadership is difficult and complicated; requiring hard work and possession of the right individual character traits. This means taking on responsibilities that are uncommon and hard to achieve. It also means having personal discipline, relevant experience, as well as, the traits of loyalty, selflessness, honor, integrity, courage, and more.
For example, there are many unspoken responsibilities in nearly all militaries. If I were to select one for evaluation, ‘going to the aid of your fellow soldiers’ ranks as one of the most desirable. Why? The answer is easy. Going to the aid of others entails great personal risk. This is what we mean by being on point; an idea that has existed and admired throughout the history of humankind.
- Qualifications for Overseers: 1 Timothy 3 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.