When I was given the opportunity to write this chapter I realized that I have never written in this format. So I prayed that I would be given what to say that would help the reader. I had to go to the Lord to ask for guidance. And that’s when it hit me. I can say with out a doubt it has been me going to the Lord for direction, with whole hearted conviction and belief, which has got me to where I am in my life. This conviction and focused belief in a bigger vision has sculpted me into the leader I am today so that I can inspire others.
It was my faith in the Lord and being obedient to the Holy Spirit that moved me in ways unimagined. I want to say it was me, all the way, but that would be wrong. I can only take credit for reading the word and believing that His plan for me was better than the one I had. The truth is a good leader is great follower first. I chose to be a great follower of Christ.
I have had to depend on the Word more than a few times. I love music and because of my experiences as a dancer and a performer, I can tell you the music business is full snakes and enemies both seen and unseen. From the beginning to the end there seems to be somebody ready to take advantage of you or misdirect you for their gain at every turn.
It makes no difference whether it’s secular or non secular; people are people and you have to learn to watch at all times. I was fortunate to know my worth and I was able to see skill level and evaluate the cost of doing business. Early on I learned that I had to lead my own life with wise choices so as to not get taken advantage of. (Not placing my pearls in front of swine meant something to me.) When I realized that too often, it was indeed the case of people wanting to take advantage of me, I moved on as soon as I could.
Why should you give away something that means so much, (my integrity, talent, and respect for my self and my music) to someone that doesn’t respect those values? Another precious choice to be watchful of is our time. At the end of the day we all have the same amount of time. How will you choose to spend yours? Because I am an artist I have to spend time practicing. I have to perfect my craft or who would want to see it or hear it! If I gave a halfway performance would you want to hear that? No I don’t think so.
It’s the same in business and in life. You have to work at it to get it right. There are always going to be times when you mess up and miss the mark. Not everything you do will be right. And that’s okay. As long as you learn from the experience and grow you’ll always be going forward.
The moment you stop learning I guarantee you’re headed in the wrong direction. Those who desire to find the leader within – and then step up to engage it, always need to be willing to make a commitment to learn.
When you think you already know everything, your conviction and belief is in yourself and yourself only. This is also the basis of pride. Remember pride comes before the fall, and when you’re trying to get to the top and pride gets in the way, a fall is going to hurt. If you have fallen – or do fall in the future, look for the lesson in the failure. Leadership means being able to honestly look at ourselves first- before we can effectively lead others.
The road to leadership isn’t always given to the swift but to he that endures. Patience. Endurance. Stamina. All are qualities of a good leader. You have to have patience to work with people because not everybody works and learns the same. If a person is committed to your cause they will rise to the task you ask. Their commitment to grow and follow you will help them along. You may have to encourage them but you can definitely work with a committed person. But it does take patience.
Endurance is necessary because great leadership doesn’t happen overnight. The first door may not open right away and you may have to knock on 99 doors before the right opportunity for your style of leadership opens. If you quit at 98 the world you’re trying to get to, to lead, to share, to inspire, will never know you because you quit. The thing you learn at door 98 may be what prepared you for 99, and when your door for opportunity opens- that’s where the stamina comes in. Because at the end of the day you have to be able to keep the race going.
Now that you’ve arrived as a leader, you have to be able to have the wherewithal to do you whatever it is you do best. Can you imagine if after Jesus got to the cross- what life would be like if he didn’t have the stamina to go through with it? Or if he got down off the cross saying “I’m too tired for this.” Where would we be?
It’s the same with us today. The bumps and bruises and life lessons along the way prepare us for what we are called to do. We develop wisdom to lead our own lives. That wisdom can then lead others. The stamina we develop as we learn to lead is for after we have arrived. Are you willing to in the race to become a great leader in your life?
I guarantee if you do it God’s way, you will receive blessings ten fold. I have
never seen the righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread.
When I switched from secular to the non secular world of living and thoughts, I still had to do music. It has taken me sometime to figure a way to be relevant and entertaining with out comprising the integrity of what I was called to do. I had to steward my talents and make wise decisions so I could deliver product that would help reach out and lead others.
When I started I was spending hundreds of dollars in the studio away from home and paying for a product that was not where it needed to be. I began moving the studio engineer out of the way so I could save time in getting my product to acceptable standards.
I learned he was making his money buy the hour and was concerned about the quality of my product. His greed was in the way and I had a problem with that. I was thankful that technology today has leveled the playing field. I didn’t have to stay on that path of lack of someone else’s integrity for too long. I made a choice to change my circumstances and lead myself in a better direction that would support my hearts passion.
I took a job at Guitar Center and from the time the store opened till the day I left I was top salesmen every month. I won so much gear I eventually had all the pieces for my own studio and I didn’t have do anything but my job. When that position ended abruptly I was shocked and a bit hurt, but as I walked away I noticed that my time there had been the vehicle I needed to get me where I’m going. That was door 98.
I persevered with my conviction and belief in a higher power to lead me in the right direction. I got up again and continued knocking. I went to God. I believe the Lord’s Prayer. As a matter of fact, that’s all I pray. (Kiss theory. Keep It Simple Stupid.) I ask his will be done, and he gives me the desires of my heart. Not everything that I want but the things that are good according to his purpose for me.
For I had long said I would like to work for myself. At every company I had been at I was the top dog. I always said if I could do this for this company why couldn’t I do it for myself? I sold over $670,000 worth of gear for Guitar Center and I only made like $29,000 myself that year. I didn’t like the split. Nor the disrespect for my pearls (i.e.: my time).
I’ve always been in management and I’ve always been in sales but music is what I love. I had a job to pay for music and now here was the perfect opportunity to do what I love and get paid doing it. Is that not true success? As I look back it was certain steps along the way that lead to this. These life lessons created the foothold and the platform that prepared me to be a great leader for others. I remember following the still voice within saying “now step out”.
Things had lined up for me to be in a position to do my own thing. I had what I needed to do it. I had the experience and the talent. I learned in these previous situations valuable lessons- and one of the biggest is the importance of having rock solid belief in yourself and being able to follow a higher power. In order to continue to lead, you have to continue to learn. Then, you need to be willing to teach others.
It’s not about how much you make it’s about how much you keep. And to keep more than I used to make doing what I was destined to do allows me the ability to tell you what I’ve learned. As a leader you will have to follow sometimes but make sure the one you follow is Christ. Even though at times you may find yourself in a bad spot don’t give up. The trip is not over. Take what you can from it and keep moving. The journey is the experience and that experience is what will make you the leader you are going to be.By Jason Purifie
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