Real Leaders

What leadership looks like.

2023 | Week of July 17 | Radio Transcript # 1525

I was privileged last Wednesday to actually meet Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds, who is in her second term of office. Governor Reynolds has long been someone I’ve closely watched. It was a honor to meet this personable but powerful governor.

As Governor Reynolds was introduced by my peer in Iowa, Bob Vander Plaats, president of The Family Leader, you couldn’t help but be impressed with the litany of really good things this mother and grandmother has done for Iowa. Her pro-life achievements are certainly notable and laudable.

The day before she was at the event where I met her, she had called the Iowa legislature into a special session for the purpose of passing a second heartbeat bill to protect unborn babies. The Iowa Supreme Court had just a several weeks before issued an opinion saying the 2018 heartbeat bill that Governor Reynolds had signed into law was unconstitutional and was just “hypothetical law,” whatever that means.

The legislature went into high gear with our friends from The Family Leader helping encourage legislators to support life, and in a floor session that went into the early hours of a new day, the bill passed in both houses, which set up for the opportunity for Governor Reynolds to sign the bill this past Friday at The Family Leadership Summit, in front of nearly 2000 social conservatives, many if not most of them Christians, as she was flanked by at least 50 Iowa legislators who had worked hard to get the bill passed.

Governor Reynolds showed in her remarks before she signed the bill great leadership, as well, saying, in part [quote] “the most important human rights cause of our time is protecting unborn human lives from the atrocity of abortion.”

“All life is precious and worthy of the protection of our laws,” Reynolds added. “Everyone understands that a heartbeat signifies life, and we understand that when it falls silent, something precious has been lost.”

Reynolds also acknowledged with gratitude who was in the audience—pro-life activists, saying, “You have lifted us in prayer, grounded me in God’s Word, and reminded me that He is always in control.”

It was obvious by the response of those in attendance at the bill signing that they love their governor and are grateful for who she is and what she is doing on behalf of them, their families, and their shared values. That’s what real leadership does. Real leadership results in people actually wanting to follow and even championing the one leading.

One of the other speakers at the Summit was Pastor Alistair Begg who did a session on the importance of having a biblical worldview. As he wrapped up his remarks, he gave three words that he said should characterize leaders: integrity, bravery, and humility.

From what I can discern about Governor Kim Reynolds, especially after listening to numerous Iowans who actually know her quite well, she epitomizes these characteristics. And it’s because she does so that people like me have “governor envy,” as we consider what Wisconsin could be like if we had leaders anywhere in our government who were people of integrity, bravery, and humility.

These would be leaders who do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, for the right reason even if no one is watching—that’s integrity. Such leaders would have the courage of their convictions and would be willing to do hard things in the face of adversity because doing so is the right thing to do. But such leaders would also exhibit an appropriate humility rather than become arrogant, which results in their being ungrateful for all those who helped them accomplish noteworthy achievements, as well as becoming difficult to work with as their self-importance wears thin and turns off others.

Leaders in every walk of life who exhibit integrity, bravery, and humility are rare indeed. But the world is starved for them. We are doing all we can to help develop these types of leaders this week during our LEAD Wisconsin teen worldview and leadership camp.

At LEAD Wisconsin 130 teens are getting great teaching on biblical worldview and have opportunities to develop leadership skills, all while being encouraged in word and example to be people who have integrity and who brave and humble. Who knows? Maybe from this week of LEAD Wisconsin will one day come another Kim Reynolds who will lead a state or a business or a church or a school well for the glory of God and the good of the people they are leading. We work and pray to that end.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”


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