When we consider the time and energy required to lead, the question becomes, “Is leadership worth it?” After all, are we not be better off to just let someone else lead? Why not focus on ourselves and our family? Would life not be easier if all we had to do is come home and look out for ourselves?
We could ask numerous questions related to the demands of leadership and how it affects us on a personal level.
Without any doubt, life appears as though it might be easier, at least initially. However, will the long-term results be worth the decision?
From the family to the church, people will follow someone. The question to consider at this point is, “Who will they follow?”
If we relinquish the opportunity to lead, will we be content if our children follow someone or something else?
If brethren decide to follow the path of error, will we accept the consequences for our choice not to lead?
When we weigh it all out, we will probably find that leadership is worth whatever it takes!
A quick read through several vision and mission statements, as they connect to a variety of organizations, highlights the need to understand the difference between these two words.
It is not uncommon, in an effort to provide a vision and mission statement, to get the ideas reversed, and rightfully so, since they are interrelated.
The mission of an organization, specifically the church, describes “what we do.” The foundation is built on the purpose of our existence and the mission directs every decision for all related activities.
The vision of an organization, again, as it relates to the church, describes what we desire to see accomplished as a result of the mission. The vision takes into consideration the image of the future that connects our long-term desires with achievable goals.
We must communicate both the vision and mission if we hope to achieve any level of success.
Several resources are available to help with these ideas. John Kotter’s book, Leading Change, along with Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, are two great places to start.
Defining success presents numerous challenges. The bottom line often determines the success or failure of a job, generally based on financial reports. An examination of the bottom line does not, however, always give an accurate assessment of success or failure.
When we gage success strictly “by the numbers” we often miss how God works to achieve His will. In the eyes of God success is found when husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church, when wives submit to their husbands as to the Lord, when children obey their parents, and when fathers train their children in the instruction and discipline of the Lord.
Success will be found in the moral and ethical conduct of Christians in the community and workplace. God measures success not in the number of souls added to the church, but in the simplicity and power of the message preached to every creature. When Christians feed on the word of God, mature in the faith, and the pattern of leadership is followed, God sees success.
A beautiful picture of success is painted when we look through the eyes of our God.
Wherever we find responsibility and accountability, we will probably find commitment. We understand commitment in the marriage relationship. We know parents must be committed to the task of raising children who turn out right. We also connect the importance of commitment to school and work.
When we examine areas of leadership, it naturally follows that we find commitment involved. However, what areas are involved in this commitment?
Some might think we must be committed to fulfilling the vision for the organization, and this is true. We would probably hear about the need for commitment to achieve our goals each year, which is also true.
Among several possibilities, have we ever considered the level of commitment to others? Simon Sinek says, “Leadership is always a commitment to human beings.”
To separate the relationship of people in the commitment to leadership is to miss leadership completely. Without a commitment to people, without the people component in our leadership, the only remaining possibility becomes ego-centric and self-driven.
Our leadership must achieve greater heights for the cause of Christ. May we always be committed to others in our leadership.
People generally find what they look for, or so we are told.
We find truth in this thought because when we look for the worst, we find the worst. When we look for the best, we find the best. In most cases, the idea rests on a solid foundation.
Occasionally, even though we look for the worst, or best, we find the unexpected. We find the opposite.
This is especially true when leading people. When we look for the worst, or best, in people, that is often what we find. People tend to live up to our expectations. If we expect little, we get little. If we expect nothing, we get nothing. Of course, when we expect greatness, we get greatness.
Once in a while, however, when we thought we had everyone figured out, we are thrown the proverbial curve ball.
But, for a moment, consider the outcome if leaders led with intentionality and a purpose driven by the desire to look for only the best in people, and create the highest expectations.
We might just be surprised at the incredible results. Avoid negativity.
A Google search often reveals more information than we can imagine and certainly more than we intended. In fact, most searches produce millions of potential areas related to our initial interest. The major issue at hand is where to begin. The task usually involves learning how narrow the search field or how to select from the major website options presented, which can be daunting.
Leadership development often presents the same problem: where to begin. To illustrate, Google search “Leadership Development” and notice more than 31,500,000 possibilities arise.
When we learn to specify areas of leadership development within the scope of the church or areas of spirituality, we find the field narrows.
Again, we discover the same struggle: where to begin. Perhaps we can begin by narrowing our search with two questions: 1) what needs exist, and 2) what piques our interest.
The priority of where our leadership begins rests on the need. However, we will also find that areas of interest keep us motivated to grow in leadership.
When we pour ourselves into these areas, what we find assists the direction of our leadership.
We make thousands of decisions every day. Generally, the majority of decisions have little or no consequential value. However, some decisions carry long-lasting, if not eternal, consequences.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Roosevelt’s thought deserves consideration, especially when we consider the impact on leadership development.
The foremost priority, when the moment of decision arises, is to do the right thing. We should add the necessity to do what is right for the other person. When others are the priority, the decision to do the right thing is clear.
Roosevelt’s statement indicates the worst decision to make is to do nothing. Jesus spoke about the eternal consequences of this decision in the “Parable of the Talents.” Regardless of the reason, to do nothing in leadership paralyzes everyone. Closely associated with this problem is the unnecessary delay in the decision.
The moment of decision is crucial and our consideration of the long-term consequences shape the proper direction.