I grew up hearing; “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
The idea is to persevere, never give up. Numerous illustrations have been given to paint the picture of perseverance.
Basically, to persevere is to be steadfast in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
It would seem the greater the goal, the greater the difficulty and challenge to succeed. However, regardless of the goal, or the task to reach the goal, facing difficulty or defeat can quickly dishearten anyone from finishing the course.
Spiritual leadership involves dealing with the personal application of perseverance, but also helping others persevere for themselves and the group.
The diligence of giving it one more try can make the difference in moving forward or stopping in our tracks.
If the goal is worth the effort, then give it one more try.
If we have the needed resources, then give it one more try.
If there is an opportunity, then give it one more try.
When we think we have reached the end of the line, perhaps giving it one more try, will change it all.
Perhaps you have heard; “what is urgent is seldom important and what is important is seldom urgent.”
In spiritual leadership, matters of true importance tend to be set aside for matters with the appearance of urgency. A friend of mine calls it the “tyranny of the urgent.”
These matters distract our focus and what should be most important.
They may come as an e-mail. Can we hear or feel the indicator; “you’ve got mail?” Do we immediately begin thinking, “I need to check my e-mail,” even though we are working on a project with a pressing deadline?
They may come as a phone call, text, IM, or a hundred other possibilities, all with the same result.
We allow situations to arise to the forefront, placing immediacy, a sense of urgency, in taking care of them “first” when, in reality, they are not important.
When we examine our spiritual leadership, what is really urgent? What requires our immediate attention and action? Do these matters distract us or aid us in what is most important?
We need to take what is truly important and make it urgent! Think Souls!!!
This question is about more than just “seeing” God. What exactly is involved? Consider a little background before answering.
We must consider where we have been. Considering 2011, the road we have traveled is now history. What mistakes have we made? What success have we seen? Who and what were involved in both? Did we learn anything? Was God part of the equation?
We must also consider where we are right now. Often times we look backwards, and then forwards, without giving thought to our present surroundings. Is this place where we need to be at this time? Will this place provide us the basis for where we need to go? From where I am now, is God part of the equation?
Once we consider where we have been and determine where we are, we can begin formulating the right plans on where we plan to go from here.
With a clear vision of God, His part in our past and present, we can see more clearly where to go from here.
If God is not part of the equation, we do not have a clear vision!
“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.” John Buchan
At first reading, my mind raced in several directions. I planned to write my thoughts at random, but then reconsidered.
Think about the depth of this quote.
Leadership if often viewed as influencing and instilling greatness in others.
However, true leadership brings out the greatness already inside, but how?
Here are a few suggestions I like:
Believe people have greatness within. If we do not believe greatness is there, it will be hard to get it out.
Provide support. As inner greatness begins to come out, changes occur. We need to provide the tools necessary to adapt to those changes and reach forward to success.
Allow them to fail. Knowing it is okay to fail does not encourage failure. Rather, our desire is lifted to strive in greater ways to avoid it.
Create a team atmosphere. Working together is where greatness really happens. We need each other to accomplish the task before us.
These are just four suggestions, but when applied, help us truly lead.
We have all seen those flyers announcing a “Customer Appreciation Day.” Businesses offer special pricing to show their appreciation. They want to express their gratitude for customer business.
Leadership appreciation is also about being thankful.
The true expression of appreciation is summed up in understanding the depth of our gratitude. Cicero claimed; “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” (Cicero, ‘Pro Plancio,’ 54 B.C.)
As leaders, we need to examine our level of gratitude.
When was the last time we expressed our gratitude?
What actions or qualities move us to be thankful?
How often do we express our gratitude? Once a year, month, daily?
Have we considered why we should be thankful?
Today is Thanksgiving. We cannot overstate the need to be thankful more than just one day a year.
Among all the areas for which I am thankful, I am thankful to you for your loyalty in reading the Leadership Fund.
I know you are thankful for the physical and spiritual ways God has blessed your lives.
To Him be the glory.
Over the past 20 years of my ministry I have considered the idea of being approachable. I have witnessed fear in approaching leadership.
One characteristic leaders must possess is approachability. How can we create an atmosphere where people are comfortable with approaching the leadership?
Let me share a few tips I have learned from approachable leaders.
Close the laptop. I learned this from the current president of the Bible Institute. Every time I stop by his office to visit, even for a few minutes, he closes the lid on his laptop and gives me 100% of his attention.
Make good eye contact. Looking others in the eye demonstrates interest. We are engaged. If we constantly look down, at someone else, or seem distracted, we demonstrate the opposite.
Watch the body language. We do not realize how much we communicate through nonverbal language. Learn to smile. Greet others kindly and warmly. Body language expressing inconvenience, communicates “unapproachable!”
Developing a shepherding heart, seeing people as God sees them, and guarding against pride are internal ways of developing the right qualities in our leadership to be approachable.
An obligation is an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.
On one hand, it is impossible to force someone to act or do anything. On the other hand, we tend to use our skills of persuasion whenever we can to motivate others into action.
We understand obligations on numerous levels; family, work, community, country, etc.
However, when we think about leadership as an obligation, we should go through an exercise in self-examination. We need to examine our own obligation to Christ and others.
The very nature of Christ’s sacrifice laid the groundwork for an obligation. Paul understood this obligation to Christ and all of humanity.
We have tasted of the grace of our God. We enjoy the gift of salvation.
Just the thought carries a moral and spiritual obligation.
As we examine our words and actions, realize we are creating a format of leading. We are going to lead and people will follow, but where are we leading them?
Considering our obligation reminds us of the need to be committed to lead them to heaven.