"But Jehoshaphat said, 'Is there not a prophet
of the Lord here, that we may inquire of the Lord
by him?' And one of the king of Israel’s servants
answered and said, 'Elisha the son of Shaphat is
here, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah'" - 2 Kings 3:11.
Elisha was the major prophetic leader in Israel at the time the king asked his question above. What was Elisha's preparation for leadership? First, he was chosen by God, but then he spent time 'pouring water on Elijah's hands." As an apprentice, he served Elijah as Elijah mentored him. Elisha went from serving one man to serving the nation, all the time serving the Lord. This is the same path that David, Joseph and Moses followed: seemingly meaningless and perhaps even boring service was part of their preparation for leadership.
LEADERSHIP STEP: If you are an emerging leader, then serving is part of your training! If it is not part of your job or degree training, then what can you do to find a situation that will ground and humble you through service? If you are already a leader, regularly spend some time in the field - customer service, finance, maintenance - and serve the people there, staying in touch with reality and with the people who do the front-line work. This will help keep leadership power from going to your head.