I have recently been thinking about the subject of public opinion. We, as a nation, are currently in the heat of the race for our next presidential election. As I have listened to these candidates who are trying to win their parties vote I have thought about the different types of leaders that exist. I am not going to name names and classify the different candidates, but rather I am just going to list the two types of leaders I more often observe.
The first type is the opinion poll leaders. This type of leader makes their stance dependent upon the winds of public opinion. They are constantly looking at polls and trying to please everyone. This type of leader is not just in the political arena. There are pastors who try to please all of their congregational members. There are business owners who try to please all of their employees and customers. These people pleasers change their stance on a subject depending on the audience with which they are speaking. I find these types of leaders to be exhausting. I personally get tired just watching them run back and forth trying to please everyone.
The second type of leader is the conviction based leader. This leader knows what they believe and why they believe it. They recognize the fact they will never please everyone, but they know the resolve with which they have set based on their convictions. I may personally not agree with this leaders convictions, but what I admire about this type of person is they are not tossed back and forth in the wind. They set their course and they run straight. I know when this person speaks to one group of people that this leaders message is going to be the same as when he/she speaks to another group of people. This type of leader has consistency.
I have obviously tipped my hat as to my leadership bias. I personally prefer the second type of leader. I recommend you surround your life with conviction based leaders. This type of leader will add value to you and to your organization (no matter what type of organization with which you are a part). They will help hold you accountable to the organizations vision because they have bought into the vision on a convictional level.
Let me clarify a point some of you may be thinking about a conviction based leader. Just because a leader is convictional in nature does not mean this person wakes up in the morning thinking to themselves, “Well, let’s see, who can I frustrate today because of my core convictions which are unwavering.” These leaders are not unsympathetic to those in an opposite camp. What these leaders do, however, is try through negotiation to convince those holding a differing position as to why their conviction is the best from their point of view. If they are successful, then they have won a person over to their belief. If they are unsuccessful, they move on and do not let this disagreement derail them from their end objective.
In closing, let me say, whether you are a type one leader or a type two leader, leadership is not for the weak and faint of heart. If God has called you to lead, however, lead well.