Apple Hill Leadership

Apple Hill is a beautiful place situated in El Dorado County, California where so many different people come to celebrate the season of apples. You can purchase a large bag of apples, caramel apples, apple pies, dried apples, apple sauce, apple cider and more. Apples are king during apple season at Apple Hill.

Leadership can be like Apple Hill. Leadership can have its moments when you feel like you are king of the hill, but often leadership does not feel like royalty for true leadership. True leaders are those who are in the trenches discovering new people and new ideas to promote and lift up. Often in the discovery process leaders are criticized for their choices, while some secretly think things like, “this leaders a radical,” “those ideas will never work,” or “why would this leader waste time with that individual.” But there are those moments when all the work pays off and you feel like the superstar of the evening. It is important to realize that while these moments are few and far between, it is never about the moment of being king of the hill. Leadership is about the trenches, it is about discovering those little gems others cannot see. Leadership is searching beyond those “regularly” reviewed ideas and coming up with a direction that moves others to say, “WOW, I want to follow that person — they have a huge dream worth fighting for!”

Maybe you are sitting in a coffee shop, in a mall, or even in your workplace reading this blog — do you see leaders around you who are committed to change? How different would our world be if more people would stand up and commit to getting in the trenches to do whatever it takes to make change possible? Where are the fanatic dreams that move us forward? Rarely do leaders like Martin Luther, or Martin Luther King, Jr. come around. Why write concerning these two leaders who have been talked about for so long as leaders of change? It is because these leaders dared to strive to change humanity for the better. Martin Luther was a German Friar and Seminary Professor who began and stood for the Protestant Reformation. He asserted salvation could not be paid for by paying indulgences, but as a free gift of God through the work of Jesus Christ. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist Minister and was also a catalyst who inspired and sparked change. His daring presence was made known as he led the African-American Civil Rights Movement. His work and personal life incited those seeking freedom from oppression to seek non-violent civil disobedience to spark change.

There are leaders out there who are fighting worthy causes and putting their lives on the line each and every day, but there are those days, when it feels like no one is really leading. This is why it is important to begin to think, “what is my part in all of this?” Look around you again, notice how people feel and react, turn on the news and see the violence and despair, see hungry people and those who have nothing and ask yourself again, “what is my part in all of this?” or “is there anything I can do about it?” You may be a corporate leader, family leader, church leader, or leadership enthusiast, but in order to really be a leader we must take time to analyze the situation around us and say, “what is my part?” When we become disatisfied with the things going on around us and get in the trenches in the best way we can, we can incite a societal change that will be that of Martin Luther, or of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mission and vision statements are common-place these days within many organizations, but it must be the most important ideal an organization holds onto. Anything that does not line up with the mission or vision statement should not be considered for use within the organization. A vision statement gives direction to change. It crease a flow-chart of sort to keep the organization spearheaded the right direction. Habakkuk 2:2 submits the importance of writing down a vision, so others can carry the message on correctly. When others know the right path, they will follow. If you are trying to lead those and you cannot figure out why followers are seemingly going in another direction (1) write the vision down clearly, (2) post it where followers can see it, (3) explain the vision, and (4) repeat the vision often.

Continue to lead, when you do not feel like you are king of the Hill, sometimes Apple Hill is out of reach, but continue leading with a clear vision and see how others will gladly follow to reach unimaginable goals!

Dr. Justin Hardcastle

Dr. Justin Hardcastle (1982) was born in Sacramento, California, grew up in multiple cities and states, and returned to The Greater Sacramento Area in 1996. For 20 years, he established influence as a leader and continues to build influence today. He teaches as a professor, special education teacher, and continues to provide leadership in multiple realms. He has won several awards. Justin is an American author, recording artist, and founder of The Leadership Bulletin, Hardcastle Solutions, and Northview Church, Inc. His life-long mission is to empower, encourage, and equip others to reach their fullest potential.

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