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10 leadership tips from Bishop T.D. Jakes

In his newly published book, Instinct, Jakes dedicates a chapter to leading. Here are 10 quotes from the book that highlight his philosophy:

1. “Unfortunately, much of what I see today isn’t about fulfilling one’s true potential as much as it is about appearing to fulfill what other people expect.”

2. “We instinctively know how to lead if we allow ourselves. …When instincts are ignored, leaders become followers, and followers become unemployed.”

3. “Anything that we do for years that doesn’t match the inner imprint of our gifting will eventually become monotonous and routine, ritualistic and frustrating.”

4. “The same proclivities that made me an effective pastor didn’t necessarily produce the skill set required for greater leadership of my business team and personal staff. …I had to learn to distinguish ministry from management and potlucks from portfolios.”

5. “Leadership emerges not only when an individual can capably do what needs doing; the real test is passed when a person can implement what needs to be done through others.”

6. “When you operate independently in the midst of your team, it stunts their growth as well as your own. You don’t want to lead a task, run a business, direct a philanthropy, or guide a church if your stakeholders assume you don’t need their help. If you want to lead by your instincts, then you must create a vision large enough that you cannot achieve it alone. …Start pushing something that you can’t carry and watch how people will come to your aid. But pick up a box you can manage, and people will simply watch you carry the load.”

7. “Don’t allow the criticisms of others or the distractions of the urgent to deter you from your destiny.”

8. “I prefer leaders who have been in the trenches. I tend to prefer people who know what it means to rise through the ranks and see the organization from a variety of angles and positions. Because I am admittedly a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps person who worked his way up, always crawling before walking, I value people who have enjoyed wide and diverse experiences, people who have failed and learned something from what went wrong, people who shrugged it off and kept going.”

9. “Often our drives and tenacity come from the places that stink in our lives. The sweet smell of success is often preceded by the sour stench of past mistakes.”

10. “Many people seem to have trouble identifying their highest passion and gifting. I often tell them, ‘Your purpose is in your passions—not just what you love but what you passionately hate.’ …If you can’t stand to see bad hairdos, maybe you should consider becoming a stylist.”

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