by Dale Shumaker
The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy is a look at how mentor leaders model a style that genuinely cares for others becoming the best they can be. A mentor leader learns skills and principles accessible by anyone. Their focus is on developing the strengths of individuals. It's about shaping, integrity, nurturing, empowering and growing... changing lives.
The mandate of the mentor leader is to focus on significance. "What can I do to make people better, all that God created them to be." Influence involves positive relationships that pass through generations which are seen on down the road. The journey is as important as the destination.
Create a well-cast vision shared by all those around you, your team, combining vision with a mission under girded by values. Truly serve others and be a servant leader.
The mark of the mentor leader is character, being trustworthy, while competent, secure, confident with an inner sense of security. Demonstrating courage, they lead by example, get in the trenches, and get involved. Living by faith, they put belief into action.
Their optimism is due to their faith in God's power working along side them and a desire for continual growth. Adding to trustworthy traits and leadership attributes(which center around being a servant leader), the mentor leader excels in relationship qualities and their ability to interact. Their qualities include being accountable, available, and approachable... a loyalty to those which they lead. This loyalty takes trustworthy and integrity to another level. The mentor leaders protect their followers.
The mentor leader changes the world one life at a time. Every person and what every person does is important in God's eyes. Make the most of all the platforms life may have you on. Opportunities may arise when least expected. Everyone is a role model where ever they are.
Mentor leaders are known by their words and actions. When things are tough, they measure up to their words and actions. They are known by their foundation of strength in their faith in God.
The seven E's of a mentor leader are
Engage: with the right attitude and approachability.
Educate: it's a hands-on, one-on-one approach.
Equip: show people how to do what's expected with the right mind-set and necessary tools.
Encourage: encouragement is more powerful than corrections.
Encouragement is better over used than under used.
Empower: true empowerment is thorough preparation followed by appropriate freedom.
Energize: energize by deliberately inspiring those you lead.
Elevate: raise up other leaders making sure others get credit.
As a mentor leader, everyone may not be happy with their decisions. It's important to remember everyone has a platform, and there is always someone's life to affect. Mentor leaders choose to be that someone.
More from Tony Dungy at
In The Power of a Whisper by Bill Hybels, he shares five filters to double check a thought to make sure what you are hearing in your mind is really God speaking to you, or what you hear from someone else is really from God for you.
Filter #1: Is the Prompting Truly from God? Ask God if the whisper is really from Him. Double check it in your own mind and Spirit. Does it reflect what you know about God and how He works and acts? Is it consistent with your character? Check your own emotions, prejudices, desires and make sure it is from God and not your own mind.
Filter #2: Is it Scriptural? God will not speak to you about something that does not line up with His Word shared in the Bible. Search the Scriptures to get reassurance. Sometimes God will use a verse or section in the Bible to speak directly to you. Be open to the times when a Scripture, during your Bible reading times, seems to jump off the page to you. He guides us many times with Scriptures timely to something going on in our lives at a certain time.
Filter #3: Is it Wise? Take a closer look at something radically different from the norm, to make sure it is really God. When Satan tempted Jesus, he asked him to do something extreme from God's purpose for Jesus. Does it reflect God's purpose in your life, and make sense as it relates to you and your relationship with others around you? Sometimes God is so practical we over look that it may be His direction for us.
Filter #4: Is it in Tune with God's character? Getting to know God and spending time in prayer, meditation on Him is vital. As we get to know Him and His character more and more we flow in tune with that. If it is totally outside how you are wired, your education, skills, double check that it is really a God whisper. He may have us do things different, but have others around us or bring others to us to complement us when needed. Know God's character and flow in line with who He is.
Filter #5: What do the people you most trust think about it? Trusted friends and acquaintances, pastors and those in ministry are good sources to run things by. Listen to what they may share. When it's from God you will many times get a consensus from more than one person. Be sure they are truly Spiritual people. Some people act Spiritual but reflect what they think, and it may be not what God is trying to get across to you. Going back to quiet times with God, reflecting on Him and who He is, will many times give you clarity on whether it is of God... or if it is just man's opinions.
We should be close to God and meditate on the Scriptures to the degree that we can determine when something is of God or not. Learn to trust Him speaking directly to you. Jesus said God's sheep hear His voice. Learn that and learn to trust that.