“What trails are we blazing? What paths are we cutting through the brush? And where will we end up from our efforts? But more important than that…have we left a clear path for others to follow, and if they do follow, where will they end up?” Michael Hite
I read this post a few years ago, and immediately thought of how powerful these questions are for leadership.
When we question our leadership, consideration should be given to the followers. Have we really considered where others will end up when they follow our leadership?
The choices are limited to the following and similar ideas:
1) Closer to, or further away from God…
2) More spiritually, or more worldly focused…
3) Stronger, or weaker in faith…
4) Growing, or declining in knowledge of God’s word…
There are many more possibilities, but the point is the same. Our leadership should be important enough to consider the destination followers will reach by following.
Be willing to blaze the type of trail that when others follow they reach heaven. Think Souls!
Substance is a particular kind of matter with uniform properties. However, having a technical definition does not adequately describe the power behind this word in relationship to leaders.
Substance also involves a quality of being important, valid, or significant. Simply stated, substance is the stuff that makes up leadership.
What is the substance that makes up the character of our leadership? Integrity? Work ethic? Core values?
Is there something significant that stands out giving credibility to leadership substance?
Can others see the substance of our leadership?
Only you and I can answer these questions for ourselves. The substance of spiritual leadership must not be ego-centric, but people-centric. The quality that validates the importance of leadership is not built upon “I,” but “you.” The substance of great leadership uses “we.”
When our leadership is evaluated, we need to take advantage of the opportunity to ask ourselves hard questions to determine the substance of our leadership. This is where the true character of leadership is found.
As important and needed as leadership is today, it is worth our time to focus on the substance.
Advances in technology have changed the way we communicate and it has affected avenues of leadership.
Technology is not backing off in the direction of the future. The development of technology influences every area of life.
Therefore, leaders need to learn how to best use technology in ways that assist their leadership.
First, do not deny, reject, or excuse the technology that exists. The use of technology is not going away, nor is it slowing down. Hoping it will go away is an exercise in futility.
Second, be open to and take time to learn. I am not referring to being an expert, but it would serve leaders well to learn how to use the basics. Seek help.
Third, use areas of technology where followers are engaged. If they are using Facebook, then get on Facebook. It is amazing what is learned through the status posted by followers.
Fourth, always approach and use technology as a tool for building up others.
These four suggestions are a starting point. If we will use technology appropriately, it can be a tool of great influence for the kingdom. Think Souls!
Several thoughts come to mind when we think about character. John W. Holt, Jr. said, “The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don’t know what to do.”
The thought of character alone is a great subject when considering leadership. However, the idea of testing one’s character is powerful and needed.
The main thought here has to do with behavior, specifically, how leaders behave when they don’t know what to do.
There will always be times when leaders struggle with knowing what should be done. During these times their character is truly tested to its limits.
The qualities of patience, understanding, thoughtful reflection, and being cautious are important. Decisions can be made to rashly and without the proper foundation. The result can bring serious consequences which could be avoided.
Learning to seek the counsel of others who have walked the same paths can open leaders up to greater wisdom, possible alternatives, and new angles of consideration.
When leaders find themselves not knowing what to do, the best option is to pray!
The midway point is always a point of evaluation. As we near the midway point, we need to reflect on the goals established for 2017 and determine where we are in reaching those goals.
This period of evaluation provides a critical step in our approach to the remainder of the year.
Now is the time to make necessary corrections, adjusting either our plans or goals. At least three areas require consideration.
One, do we have the necessary resources to complete our goals for the year? If we are not half-way toward our goals, then it is possible we need additional resources.
Two, are the right people in the right positions to implement our plans? At times, we need to determine if the right people are in the right positions. If not, we may need to make changes.
Three, have we communicated appropriately the vision and essential steps to achieve it? Communication cannot be overstated. Unless everyone understands the vision and the steps needed to reach it, any attempt to reach our goals is hindered.
Let’s make sure we do not miss the opportunity to evaluate accordingly.
On occasions a nugget comes through and it is exciting to read and share with others, especially in leadership matters. Today is one of those days. Nido Qubein said, “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”
There is much depth to this idea.
The tendency most of us share is allowing present circumstances to determine where we can go, which results in limited possibilities.
However, when we see our present circumstances as merely the starting point, the possibilities become unlimited.
There is something to the idea surrounding the “will to want to” when achieving the plans that have been established.
We must not allow our present circumstances to shape our thinking, direct our steps, or hinder our growth and development.
These circumstances must provide a launching/starting point for moving forward to achieve our desired goals.
To this point, we have considered three questions that all great leaders ask. There is a fourth question these leaders ask that is also significant to consider: “What might be missing?”
Mike Maddock, who writes for Forbes online, claims “great leaders are open to the fact (and it is a fact) that they are missing something.”
We do not have the space to list all the possible answers to this question. It should be noted that what is missing can range from the most simple of ideas to the most complex of leadership teams.
The value of asking this question, and for leaders to impress upon others the need to answer this question, demonstrates the kind of humility great leaders need in their leadership.
When humility is part of the leadership equation, along with an openness to the possibilities, then followers will provide answers.
A sense of creativity, innovation, and motivation will exist to provide a stronger morale in achieving short and long term goals.
We cannot underestimate the power of humility seen in God’s leaders.