We are familiar with the nature of elevators. Certain elevators move with ease and give us confidence in reaching our destination. However, there are elevators that leave us wishing we could take the stairs.
Elevators are convenient, less taxing on the body, and much quicker.
How wonderful would it be if we could take an elevator to the top of leadership? Think about it. The mind and body would be less stressed. We would not have to go through the process of strategically putting one foot in front of the other, even when we are tired. Initial thoughts indicate an increased convenience for such a journey.
We may wish it worked this way, but it never has and never will.
Reaching the top quickly, or with the least amount of stress, will not make us leaders. We are shaped by the experiences throughout the journey. We learn invaluable lessons, lessons to help us deal with the various issues facing leadership.
There are no quick and easy ways to the top of leadership. Work is involved, and the more diligence we exercise, the greater our leadership.
Our world seems to thrive on the use of initials. One of the most familiar is PC. Interestingly, these initials represent several ideas from “politically correct” to “personal computer.”
Organizations are often identified by initials: CIA, FBI, UPS, USPS, and many more.
Positions within the administration of all organizations support the use of initials: CEO, CFO, EVP, VP and list goes on.
The texting world also exists on the foundation of initials: ROFL, LOL, Np, Ty and, again, the list is unending.
While we tend to be mesmerized by the use of initials, perhaps the use of a few initial combinations will benefit our development as leaders.
CIA: Consistency In Action. Nothing supports the development of leaders more than consistency in their character.
CEO: Courageously Engineering Opportunities. Waiting for growth to occur is not a good plan. Leaders must skillfully and artfully arrange for growth.
ROFL: Resist Obstacles Facilitating Lethargy. Leaders cannot afford to become lethargic. A sluggish and apathetic mindset will hinder growth.
These are a few ideas to consider, hopefully, with a realization toward a necessity for leadership growth.
How many times have you heard someone refer to losing their focus? It seems to be more common with each day.
Specifically, when athletes fall short of achieving success, it is generally because they lost focus.
Leaders cannot afford to lose focus.
The challenge is determining where we place our focus. The world seems to be driven by the intent of distracting us from the goals we strive to achieve.
Distractions can take the form of financial problems, family issues, complications in health, tragedy, and numerous other areas.
This is not to suggest we ignore any of these areas when they occur. However, when distractions arise, we can learn from them and maintain our focus, or we can lose sight of our priorities.
Focus is a matter of choice.
People need leadership to help them maintain their focus. Spiritual leadership presents the choice of life or death. When our focus is on life we will appeal to others to make the right choice.
Amazingly, when we choose life, our focus enables us to handle the distractions with a gracious heart of gratitude.
While faith demonstrates an inner conviction of the mind, the second component of a father’s leadership is characterized by integrity. David provides a powerful commentary on integrity in Psalm 15.
The passage develops three Hebrew noun/verb participles: “walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart” (v. 2 emphasis added). The function of a noun/verb participle serves as a characteristic and an action. Therefore, integrity, righteousness, and truth describe who one is and what one does.
The Hebrew word, integrity, refers to “what is complete, entirely in accord with truth and fact” (BDB, 1977:1071). Integrity moves toward an application of the ethical uprightness of one wholly devoted to God (TWOT, 1999).
When integrity characterizes a father’s leadership, imagine the impact. When children look to their father and see an example of integrity, their leadership is worth following.
The strength of a father’s relationship with children is based on character that emulates God as our Father. The desire to speak and act with integrity portrays a desire for truth, followed by an ethical uprightness of a heart wholly and completely devoted to God.
“Curiosity, creativity, discovery and wonder; they aren’t traits of youth, they’re traits of learning. If you want to feel younger and you want to replicate the conditions of youth, do that.” Author Unknown
For centuries, people sought the fountain of youth. In some ways, the search continues, as countless numbers of people strive to eat healthy, exercise, and avoid risks. Others seek out plastic surgeons in an attempt to restore a youthful look.
Needless to say, no literal fountain exists. Imagine the disappointment of searching an entire lifetime, investing one’s savings, and exhausting every possible resource only to learn the secret to youth is not physical.
Today’s thought is interesting because it shares an idea replicating the conditions of youth through pursuing four simple traits associated with learning. Be a lifelong learner. Could it be that simple?
Promoting these traits as leaders can certainly revive a tired, worn-out, complacent, and apathetic atmosphere.
The joy of learning can turn people around to achieve great tasks. If we can find a way to revive this spirit within the church, imagine the impact on a society searching for youth.
The more we consider the importance of leadership, the more we should recognize the necessity of encouragement.
We cannot measure the impact of an encouraging word spoken at the right time. Yet, we can see the fruit born in the lives of those who receive them.
The challenges that often occur within the family, the difficulties of financial stress, and the uncertainties surrounding job security can lead people to the brink of discouragement. In these moments, it is often an arduous task to turn it around. Everything looks bleak.
People need hope. They want to know they can overcome the obstacles encountered on this journey through life.
People want to know they are loved. Communicating in a language they understand takes many forms, but one that always carries weight is a word of encouragement.
The lives of people we influence as leaders accelerate when we encourage them in the activities that lead them to greater success.
Take a moment each day to write a note, make a call, or stop and speak to someone who can use a little encouragement and watch the difference it makes.
Like most people, growing up it was common to hear, “Son, when I was your age I used to…” The idea spoke of fond memories from the past. Do we remember the good ole’ days?
At other times we look to the past with regret over words or actions we cannot change.
Still, there are times when we look at the past with hope of greater opportunities for the future.
We cannot live in the past. As well, we cannot change it.
Our leadership is not about the past. It is about the future. Leaders do not lead people to where they have been, but where they need to go.
Paul knew the regret of words and actions of the past. He also knew he could not allow the past to dictate the direction of the future. Instead, he chose to focus on what lies ahead.
We, too, must remember the work of spiritual leadership. Do not allow the past to dictate our direction. Acknowledge it. Learn from it. Leave it where it is. We must be focused on the future.