Everyone knows the value of good planning. Leaders especially appreciate the need for proper plans to reach goals.
Tonight we say goodbye to a year through which we will never walk again. We cannot re-live it. We cannot change it. All we can do is examine it and make plans to create a difference for the future.
Plans are not New Year’s resolutions.
Plans are not goals.
Plans involve the activities necessary to keep our resolutions and reach our goals.
How vital is it we have plans? There is an old adage, used by several, that says; “those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
We all need short and long-term goals. The is true personally and at the corporate level. However, how we plan to reach our goals makes a difference.
Before we commit to our New Year’s resolutions; before we set up goals for the year ahead; let us sit down and establish the details of a proper plan to ensure success for 2011.
The rearview mirror allows us to see what is behind. It reflects where we have been and the people we have passed along the way.
As spiritual leaders, there is figurative significance to using the rearview mirror to look back on the past year.
Tomorrow night represents a time people celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a another. Generally, we tend to look at areas we need to change and make a resolution to improve in the year ahead.
Rarely do we consider the whole of our influence in leadership. When we look back over 2010 we need to ask a few questions.
Were we good stewards of a God entrusted leadership?
Are other people better because of our influence and example in leadership?
Did we reach souls with the gospel?
Were we able to accomplish our goals for the year?
What changes are needed to improve our leadership?
These questions represent only a few we should consider as we close out this chapter in history. As we set the stage for the year ahead, take out the rearview mirror and look at the past, ask a few questions, and make the needed adjustments for 2011.
Anyone with children has heard the question and probably several times. The idea of traveling hundreds of miles and hearing the question one more time can be frustrating.
However, when we consider the basis for the question it might change the perspective we have toward spiritual leadership.
The question screams of anticipation. The excitement of reaching the destination brings anticipation. We know there are struggles to face through the journey. We also know there are rewards. We cannot wait to get there. Are we there yet?
Spiritual leaders, above all, should know the excitement of reaching the destination. The journey will be filled with struggles, as well as, rewards.
What are we anticipating in life? What are we so excited about we cannot help but think “are we there yet?”
The thrill of spiritual leadership is found in knowing the incredible destination awaiting us.
In addition, there is the joy of leading others who share the journey.
Can we see it? Are we excited? How great is our anticipation? Are we there yet?
I waited until today to consider the need to recoup and recover. Families have returned home. Christmas decorations have been stored for another year. We are probably back to a regular work schedule.
Why today? Chances are someone was up yesterday shopping after Christmas specials or making returns, standing in lines, thinking how crazy, and perhaps, entertained the idea of going back to work to recoup and recover. We are not the first to think this way.
What is the connection to spiritual leadership? Remember to rest.
This is not my strong suit. It would not be a stretch to say I am a workaholic. The thought of taking a full day off without checking e-mail, answering the cell-phone, writing a leadership post, or something work related is strange.
Maybe you do not suffer with this mindset. If not, then you can stop reading. But, if you share this mindset, then read on.
Rest is valuable to everyone’s work performance.
Rest aids greater enthusiasm and energy to reach the goal.
Family life improves. Work performance increases. It is a win – win situation.
Whatever the season or project, remember to recoup and recover.
The holidays are special when shared with family. Nothing compares to being together.
Although families can be characterized as dysfunctional, we can learn from the family to help in spiritual leadership.
Families should be skilled in problem resolution. No family is free from problems, financial, personality, health, communication, rivalries, etc. How problems are resolved determines success.
Problem resolution in leadership must be a priority, because there will be problems.
Families must learn cooperation. Parents and children sharing one bathroom, rationing the food supply, and taking care of household chores, demands working together. Dysfunctionalism results when people are unwilling to work together.
The leadership connection is powerful. Creating an atmosphere where people get along and work side by side, cooperating for the common goal is rare.
Families need a common purpose. There are different personalities, opinions, objections, conflicts, etc. However, when families understand and strive for a common purpose, they are able to resolve problems and cooperate for the greater good of the family.
Leaders should be diligent in directing others to the common goal. We need to promote purpose and provide the leadership to reach it. Why? Because, spiritually, we are family.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” We are familiar with the words of the song. We also know the words of our Lord, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Certainly, it is a time of year when our minds think about the giving and receiving of gifts.
What gift would be best suited for an individual on our list?
As we consider the nature of this time of year, as spiritual leaders, there is a need for us to consider the words of Paul. “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.”
Paul was willing to give of himself in every way for the benefit of others. Specifically, he desired their salvation. In a self-serving world, it is challenging to find those who desire to give more than receive. However, spiritual leaders must focus on giving themselves so others might be saved.
I pray our spiritual leadership will be of such nature we are looking for ways to give ourselves to help direct people to heaven.
Everyone wants the best. We want the best of technology. We want the best car. We want the best clothes and food. We want the best service. We want the best leadership. We want the BEST!
The problem is defining “the best.”
Basically, the definition is subjective. The best for one person may not be the best for another.
In addition, what is the foundation for the definition? Will the best be defined by work effort? Cost? Achievement? Time spent?
When considering leadership, one might think pursuing the best is the right direction. However, it depends on the definition and the foundation of the definition.
Instead, we should consider the need to pursue excellence. The pursuit of excellence provides a consistency to leadership, especially spiritual leadership.
Pursuing excellence acknowledges the present situation and need.
Pursuing excellence desires to learn and improve.
Pursuing excellence strives to constantly make proper application.
Pursuing excellence is Biblical.
We should give thought to the direction of our leadership. Pursuing excellence will make a difference in our life and in lives of others.