“Before you quit, try. Before you talk, listen. Before you react, think. Before you criticize, wait. Before you move on, forgive.” Author Unknown
Although the originator is unknown, these five suggestions are powerful, each in their own right.
How often do we quit before we really try? The going gets tougher than anticipated and we think it is easier to quit, but is it really?
How often do we find ourselves dominating the conversation without really listening? Generally, others just need someone to listen to them, but do we?
How often do we react, only to think later that we should have given it a little more thought? The challenge is learning to act appropriately instead of reacting, but we need to think first.
How often do we jump to conclusions and criticize someone else for their actions before waiting to understand why they acted this way?
How often do we move on, but carry a grudge without reconciling the relationship?
Much more could be said, but suffice it to say that when we follow each of these suggestions, our lives become richer.
We have all heard or thought “this will only take a minute.”
We know this statement is more figurative than literal. We cannot be sure that an activity or task will take exactly 60 seconds, but we still say it.
Imagine the difference one minute can make in our leadership influence when we implement the following ideas in one minute.
1) Pray: take one minute to pray about something or someone and notice the change by starting with this step.
2) Think: before jumping to conclusions, reacting immediately, or speaking quickly, take 60 seconds to think and watch how much clarity occurs to our responses.
3) Ask: while we cannot control someone else’s response, taking one minute to ask for help can change everything.
4) Write: one minute to write a note of appreciation, to express thoughts before saying them, making a to-do list, or logging the activities of an event are powerful.
5) Speak: practice taking one minute every day to build up someone’s morale. This practice will revolutionize production.
These five simple steps can be done in less than five minutes each day, but consider the difference these steps make in our leadership.
Pick the activity to be accomplished and, regardless, there seems to be a process by which it must be carried out.
The difficulty that arises in leadership is often connected to learning how to work through the process in order to reach the desired end.
Sadly, learning the process is where the problems begin to surface. The process of one activity or location may not be the same process as in another.
The protocol changes depending on the people, culture, and model that were / are established.
These foundational components tend to guide and direct the “processes” of an organization as well as the day-to-day activities for each one of us.
When we determine the process and work within it, we develop a greater measure of credibility and gain the kind of influence that assists us in becoming the people God intends.
The best scenario exists when we establish the process first and then develop the potential of everyone else entering the program.
Isn’t this what God did for us?
As odd as it may sound, the thought behind this week’s word is significant in application to our leadership.
A degree of distinctness is one meaning for our word of the week. Consider how this relates to the area of leadership.
What characteristics define our leadership? When we examine those characteristics closely, are we able to recognize what makes our leadership distinct?
The defining nature of our character sets us apart as leaders. This distinctness enables us to have the kind of influence needed to help others reach their potential, to become all God wants for them.
Leaders carry the responsibility of developing the kind of character that creates a distinction for their influence. This distinction provides defining qualities of leadership that make a difference.
A few suggestions to help in developing this character include the following:
1) The willingness to learn what is necessary to achieve the goal.
2) The determination to do whatever it takes to develop the right kind of character.
3) The patience to know the time required to fulfill that desire.
Think about it. The definition of our leadership is based on these three suggestions.
A scriptural precedent was set by Paul in his letter to the church at Philippi. This precedent is one set by the example of Jesus and followed by Paul.
The precedent is also one that determines what is best for others: putting others above self.
The beauty of what unfolds in this letter provides powerful application for each of us today.
Leading others in the cause of Christ requires us to consider the way Paul approaches the church in Philippi. In order for the church to have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5), they needed to follow the example of Christ and the one Paul practiced in the following ways:
1) We need to put the gospel of our Lord above ourselves.
2) We need to put our brothers and sisters above ourselves.
3) We need to put Christ above ourselves, as He did us.
These three areas were also practiced by Timothy and Epaphroditus. How powerful would the influence of the church be today, if each one of us possessed this attitude and practiced this mindset with each other?
Perhaps this is what Jesus meant in John 13:34-35.
“Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement.” Anthony J. D’Angelo
An area of leadership that should drive all of us is the basis for today’s thought. The thought today presents an interesting twist to the idea of personal growth and development in leadership.
An addiction is defined as a dependency on something, an inability to stop without incurring adverse effects. Imagine what would happen if each one of us approached our own self-improvement with this thought in mind.
Obviously, there are unhealthy addictions: alcohol, drugs, food, electronic devices / internet, and the list goes on.
There are, however, healthy addictions that physically, mentally, and spiritually help us improve our quality and quantity of life.
When we set our mind on those kinds of improvements, the results are amazing. A few changes in the habits that form our daily routines make all the difference in developing an addiction “to constant and never-ending self-improvement.”
The time and effort are worth the benefits if we can exhibit a little diligent determination.
One of the key lessons in leadership involves surrounding ourselves with wise counselors.
The account of Rehoboam in 1 Kings 12 stands out as a powerful example of a leader who failed to follow wise counsel and, as a result, divided the kingdom of Israel.
Throughout the book of Proverbs, Solomon speaks of the benefit to leaders who seek wisdom, especially the wisdom of listening to many wise counselors.
Why is it so beneficial to surround ourselves with many counselors?
1. Personal wisdom is usually developed on limited education and experience.
2. Many counselors provide a wiser approach to making well-informed decisions.
3. The strengths possessed by others will compliment our weaknesses.
4. The idea is sanctioned by the wisdom of our God.
Personal knowledge and experience should remind us of the value of having many counselors.
When we seek to promote our own agenda, further our own advancement, or seek a position of authority, then we are in danger of leading down a destructive path. Listen to the wisdom of those who hold the knowledge and experience to guide us to greater achievement.