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A true artist doesn't create his masterpiece to make money, though that is always a welcome benefit. He creates it with the intention of presenting it as a gift to others for their enjoyment, hoping that it will touch their soul and somehow inspire them. Much of the music industry today, and sadly the worship music industry, has lost true artistic integrity. It is driven by making money and developing a following. The result is that much of the music being created today is shallow and lacks depth because it was created for the artist's pleasure rather than his audience. Even much of the latest worship music has lost its God-focused purpose and has been created for man instead of for God. It has become about who has the latest CD, or has the biggest sanctuary. It is about competing for the biggest Facebook Fan Page following, or getting a Dove Award nomination. It's not art anymore. It's a product.
Authentic leaders are artists. What I mean by authentic is leaders who lead for the sheer enjoyment of making other people better than they are. They are not in it for themselves, but for others. That is what gets them out of bed every morning to go to work and lead people. Leadership is really art presented by artists whose art brings out the beauty of others. This is a rare quality these days. But if you look, you can still find them. If you have ever had the joy of being led by this kind of leader you understand this concept. They have a unique ability to make people around them become extraordinary. They make those they lead feel valued and treasured. They convince them that there is nothing they can't do. And when they succeed, the person applauding them the loudest is their leader, always letting them take the credit rather than taking it for themselves. These leaders see the people they have been entrusted to lead as a masterpiece, a work of art that will inspire people.
We have a perfect role model for this type of leadership. His name is Jesus. He led twelve ordinary men for the purpose of making them extraordinary so that they would change the world. He made them better than they could ever have been on their own. He turned a bunch of failures into victors. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that "we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." God is the consummate artist.
I love this quote from Seth Godin's book, The Insubordinate - "When you do a personal act, a human act, and change someone else for the better, then you’re an artist." Create a masterpiece today. Make someone better than they are right now. We need more of that kind of leader.
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