“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” David Brinkley
Leadership is rewarding, but it can be difficult. We have to be careful not to spend our time focusing on the negative and challenging areas of leadership.
The trick is learning how to turn the negative into a positive; to take the challenging and turn it into success.
Brinkley’s thought is a wonderful piece of advice. The ability to take what comes at us as leaders and using it to lay a foundation for the future is one of the keys to success.
It may not be the easiest approach, but then again, success rarely comes easy.
It may not be the most pleasurable approach, but the outcome is worth the time in the wilderness.
If we can keep our eyes on the end result, then perhaps when the bricks are thrown, the foundation will be strong and stable enough to build the kind of success that will withstand the storms of time.
The challenge of leading in rough waters obviously deals with an uncomfortable factor. No one likes leading during these times. No one seeks out rough waters to practice their leadership. Amazingly, for some leaders, these rough waters always seem to find them.
There appears to be no rhyme or reason to this challenge, but the true test of our leadership will occur in these moments, because they define who we are as a leader and the credibility of decisions we make for the future.
What will help us navigate through these waters and find smooth sailing on the other side?
Remember who we are at the core. Nothing has changed our core values. Hold on to the basis of why we lead.
Trust in wise counsel. We are not navigating alone. Others have sailed rough waters before us. Seek the counsel of the wise.
Be slow, diligent and deliberate with all decisions. The quickest way to be defeated is to act before good thought and slow execution is implemented.
Rough waters will come, but we can sail through them if we do not panic and approach them with steadfast spirit.
Each e-mail I send has a signature. The signature provides my contact information, along with a link to the Leadership Fund blog site. However, thinking about the signature reminds me of a far greater purpose behind the signature of our leadership.
By definition, we can learn that a signature is a “distinctive pattern, product or characteristic by which someone or something can be identified.”
The thought of this definition is rich in connection to our leadership and there are several words deserving attention.
Identified: how and by what are we identified when it comes to our leadership? The way our leadership is identified becomes a key part of our signature.
Pattern, produce, characteristic: these three terms all play a role in the way our leadership is identified. It goes without saying, but godliness must be connected to all three.
Distinctive: perhaps the most significant word in our definition is distinctive. Something must stand out and set us apart when identifying our leadership.
The signature of spiritual leadership sets us apart from the world and for use by God to His glory. Now that is a signature worth developing.
If there was one word to characterize life and leadership it would be challenges. A number of definitions are given for this word, but the one I like is “a task or situation to test someone’s abilities.”
What will test our abilities? We do not have the space to exhaust the possibilities.
However, there are a couple of truths to remember about challenges to our leadership.
We are going to face challenges. The intensity and the length of the challenge are unpredictable.
Challenges that test our abilities will be unique. No two individuals are alike, nor any two challenges.
Remember challenges are temporary. I love the saying; “this too shall pass.” Regardless of the intensity and length, eventually the test will end.
Overcoming challenges begins and ends at the throne of God. No one provides help like our Lord.
Challenges always serve a greater purpose. If we understand the power and will of God, we know He is working to an end that is best for us.
I do not know of anyone who enjoys challenges, but I do know the result can be beneficial to our leadership.
One of the analogies of good leadership is connected to the law of harvest. Few illustrations are more powerful than planting a seed, cultivating it, and watching it grow into something beautiful.
Within the parables our Lord used similar analogies to teach a powerful message to His disciples. The parable of the sower and the parable of the tares teach lessons with eternal implications.
This week, we will focus on a few lessons from the first of these parables.
Leaders cannot always know where the seed is going to land. Our main focus is to remain true to the task of sowing.
Our leadership will have mixed reception. We will find it impossible to please everyone. Not everyone wants to follow.
Perseverance is an essential quality in leadership. We cannot quit and enjoy the success of leadership.
Leading others requires patience to produce fruit. Patient cultivation and a little T.L.C. will leave enduring fruit.
Lives are being changed by our leadership and it is worth the time we take to make sure we cultivate the seed properly for the good soil to be productive.
“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser” Socrates
We see an emphasis placed upon debating in our world today. We should not be surprised because it seems to have been the trend for centuries of time.
We love to debate about politics, religion, personal opinions, various convictions, and even current events.
There is no end to the people who have a solution to every problem that exists and they are usually not afraid to express it. Just ask!
The sad part of this thought is seen when pride grows and we are no longer debating, but seeking ways to slander the character of the opponent.
Spiritual leaders lose their credibility when they slip to a level of attacking and slandering someone instead of presenting truth in love.
The tendency is to think we have a responsibility to expose others for their beliefs, or perceived error, when in reality we need to be speaking the truth of God’s word. Let God’s word stand for itself. Somehow, God has a way of dealing with the others matters properly and in His time.
We mentioned the time oriented nature of culture yesterday. However, the majority of people in the world live in a more event oriented culture.
An event oriented culture is not focused on the convenience of time, or how much time is needed to accomplish the task. The importance of the event takes precedence. Therefore, whatever amount of time is needed to finish the event will be given to it.
While there are pros and cons to both time and event oriented cultures, the key for leadership is to learn how to appropriately lead within the specific culture.
Trying to force an event oriented culture into one that is time oriented can be a recipe for disaster. The reverse is also true. However, when leaders use the beauty of each culture, the time to accomplish each specific task becomes the key to success.
The point is for leaders to examine the current culture and lead in ways that will use the orientation of the individual or group to help them succeed in reaching heaven.