Leading In Both Word and Deed

What makes up a leader?

The men of the World War II’s 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment came face to face with levels of leadership that meant either life or death.  Listen to a few of these actual soldiers talk about their leader, Major Richard Winters, and his leadership character:


(Band of Brothers, Crossroads)

And how will your followers one day describe you and your leadership?

As there are many characteristics that make up a great leader, I believe one key characteristic is a person who leads in both word and deed.

We cannot simply be people of great speeches and engaging rhetoric.  We must follow the footsteps of our Savior who not only spoke of a new coming Kingdom, but lived it.

We see this leadership within Jesus’ disciples as well.  In Mark 6:7-13 Jesus extends his ministry to The 12 as delegates of his word and power.  Verses 12-13 reads:

12 They went out and preached that people should repent.  13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

Notice that they came in the name of Jesus with His verbal truth (preaching repentance), yet coupled these words with action (healing the hurting).  To be a true extension of Christ, they had to be both “sight and sound” leaders.

Whether we have the gift of leadership or not, we all lead.  May we do so in both word and deed, following the example of Christ, and those that have followed in his footsteps, like Major Richard Winters.

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~ by Dave Smith on March 4, 2009.

4 Responses to “Leading In Both Word and Deed”

  1. Excellent thought! I liked line in the video – “He never thought about not being the first one in…(line, off the boat, etc…)” Reminds me of another great cinematic illustration of leadership “We Were Soldiers” – Mel Gibson’s character promises to be the first one on the “battlefield” and the last one off —

    I do agree the obvious “marriage” of word & deed – often we assume that word is done, but that deed is neglected – I would suggest that sometimes the leader’s deeds are strong, but the words (encouragement, vision, challenge, correction, etc…) are lacking.

    Just some thoughts of the top of the head.

  2. That is really insightful Jon. And a good reminder. It wasn’t coinsidence that I forgot that side of leadership as well! Guilty as charged.

  3. Do you think that Christ’s influence (leadership) was more “word” or “deed”?

  4. Weird…I just started watching this series (again). Mom got me the Blu-ray for Christmas.

    I read a Sports Illustrated article several years ago about a HS XC team that won despite its lack of resources. The journalist pointed out that the secret lied in the coaches leadership, whose method was to give so much of himself that his runners couldn’t help but follow.

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