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Sharpening Iron to Live Second

Becoming a Leader by Living Second


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Becoming a Leader by Living Second takes the faithful following and serving of others first…

Many of us think that in order to be a leader we must also carry a title.  Titles in fact mean very little in the business world as they no longer garnish you with guaranteed respect or esteem they once may have. We all know someone in our life that carries a title of manager or lead yet could not find their way out of a wet paper sack.

Leadership requires others to become followers, not followers in the sense that they worship the ground you walk on per se hang on every word you might speak.  Followers as in those that look to you for guidance, as a decision maker and one that will steer them straight.

Many times a leader is the quiet one that sits in the back of the room.  They may even be the sarcastic one that comes across a bit callous or rude.  These are the people who know exactly where they are going, they reek of confidence and whether they like it or not (usually not at least at first) they make others want to follow wherever they might be going.

The silence exudes authority and intelligence and the sarcasm a quick wit and raw honesty.  We all know who these leaders are, sometimes long before they ever do. Although they may shirk titles and wish to remain anonymous, their morals, values and character generally shine through. When you are at peace with your walk in this world many will want to follow your lead.

The humble leader that chooses to serve others and give the credit to God and others rather than shine the spotlight upon themselves are the servant leaders. They are the one that everyone wants to follow yet are at peace with working behind the scenes. They would rather give the glory away than to add it to their own resume. This kind of leader bestows all credit for success to those around them rather than egregiously taking it as their own.

Leaders like these see only in black and white, they have a set of standards that even when challenged are not swayed into the gray. Sometimes they will be mocked and ridiculed for taking the high ground, yet are the first to reach out a hand to those wallowing in the mud.

The leaders that live their lives by putting the needs of others before their own, that is the type of leader I want to be. Serving others and leading by example is the only type of leader that I would want to be known as. One that works in silence letting their character speak in volumes, choosing to give themselves so that others may live.  Choosing to live second is the one way I really found to begin to live.

I made the choice a couple of years ago to quit chasing the titles and seek the approval or recognition of others. Those things that I once thought were important no longer seemed to matter.  Finding ways to serve others, whether they were my family, friends or complete strangers has become more rewarding than a title that could never define me. Slowly I have become the leader I always wanted to be, one that people respect and y choose to follow loyally.

leader second

The only title that I seek is that of “Child”, anything less does not matter and there is no other title that is greater. The badge that I carry is the repentance and grace provided by the cross that grants me VIP access to my one true leader and king.  I hope to leave a legacy by leading others to the foot of the cross and being known as a man who led by living second..  By being the hands and feet in everything that I do, I will continue to silently lead anyone that chooses to follow…My name is Charles…I am a Child of my Lord and Savior and I Am Second.

The authentic stories on provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second.

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About Charles Johnston

Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.

6 Replies

  1. Stan Stinson

    I love this post Charles. I really like the line, “The leaders that live their lives by putting the needs of others before their own, that is the type of leader I want to be. Serving others and leading by example is the only type of leader that I would want to be known as.”

    This reminds me of my favorite Zig Ziglar quote and one I try to live by, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

    You might also be interested in , a site on followership I found recently.

    Have a great da

    1. Charles Johnston

      Thank Stan, Zig is one of my all time favorites and has provided so many with his everlasting wisdom. Also thanks for sharing the site, always in need of resources on our walk. Thanks for sharing too!

  2. I really appreciate your insights here Charles. You hit the nerve on this. So many leadership we’re noticing today in the world is often self-centered. We have a paucity of leaders who live with a biblical worldview and with a servant’s heart. Thanks for brightening my day.

    1. Charles Johnston

      Glad to be of service Paul, it is an amazing journey when you stop living for yourself and choose to live to serve. It wrecked my world and inpires me to share with others.

  3. David Mike

    Great post, in the 15 years that I’ve worked in my job, I’ve specifically avoided titles for this reason. I just want to serve, because I am His servant.