Apart from listing resolutions to make physically or spiritually, today’s post is focused on suggestions to help us approach the end of 2014. The past year went by in what seems to be record time and the events of the year were instrumental in shaping who and where we are at this moment. How can we end this year?
1) Reflection: Now is the best opportunity to reflect on where we started, where we are now, and what we did to get from one point to the other.
2) Remembrance: While reflecting on all the accomplishments, take a moment to remember that God placed us in this position at this time. Let us be faithful to the task.
3) Consideration: We need to consider the lessons learned with each step toward the original goals. We should also consider the individuals involved in helping us reach this point.
4) Gratitude: Of all the steps above, none holds more significance than gratitude. We need a thankful heart for the good and the bad, expressing an understanding that where we are is because God knows what is best and placed us in this moment. Let us honor Him!
A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. Approaching the end of the year brings a time where many people focus on making resolutions.
These resolutions come in the form of physical health changes (stop smoking or drinking, lose weight, exercise, etc.), fiscal changes (save more money, give more to charity, benevolence, etc.), intellectual changes (read more, take a class, earn a degree, etc.), and for some, spiritual changes (read the Bible more, pray more, attend worship more, etc.).
Perhaps other ideas play into who we are and what we do, but generally speaking, a resolution involves an improvement in some area of life. At times, these improvements better our own personal lives and sometimes they improve the lives of others.
Leaders focus on resolutions that include both because there is a need to improve who we are, but also to influence others in ways that improve their lives.
Let us all be encouraged to use this opportunity to consider how we can make resolutions that expand our leadership in ways that influence and improve life here and eternally.
Another word used in the recent Forbes’ article concerning the expectations of leaders is “respect.” The article highlights the difference between recognition and respect; “The recognized leader appeals to the head where things are easily forgotten, while the respected leader captivates the heart – and the heart does not forget.”
Regardless of the environment or situation, people want leaders who respect and value each area they contribute to the achievement of organizational goals.
We understand the key role respect plays by leaders toward followers, but also regarding the need for leaders to gain respect. By their words, actions, decisions, follow-through, achievement, and numerous additional areas, leaders establish a foundation for gaining respect.
Few areas, however, gain respect more quickly than by showing respect for others. A couple of suggestions to accomplish this task include: 1) attention given to work accomplished, 2) time to build relationships, 3) accepting responsibility and giving accountability, 4) transparency, and 5) trust.
Leaders who strive to gain, earn, and achieve respect, lead with heart. They touch the lives of those who follow and change the power of teamwork in the growth of any organization.
“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens — and when it happens, it lasts.” John Wooden
The power of improving a little each day cannot be overstated. The tendency of our current culture is to think we need to make big improvements and quickly. However, the lasting influence of a little improvement each day is demonstrated through the big improvements that result over the long haul.
Imagine how much more could be accomplished and how enduring the achievement when leaders work on developing their leadership a little each day.
Approaching leadership development in this way provides the greatest opportunity to implement a plan that allows leaders to become the changing influence of the future.
Along with all the activities of the day, I pray this is a special time with family. Share the time and enjoy what this day is all about. Thank you for reading the “Leadership Fund” each day.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
Moving forward in our discussion of discipline takes us into an area involving the direction of a leader’s personal conduct or behavior.
As challenging as self-discipline is for each of us, one of the most significant areas addresses developing new behaviors.
In order for an activity to become a habit, the general rule of thumb is that it takes 21 days. Obviously, this is not a hard and fast rule, but is generally the case.
We are also aware of the expression, “second nature.” Using this idea expresses a similar thought of making something habitual; we practice over and over until the activity seems natural, or second nature.
Today’s post adds to this idea and helps improve the level of discipline that becomes characteristic of our life, or perhaps we should say “lifestyle.”
When discipline is applied, an activity becomes a lifestyle. The idea is more than a habit or second nature. We do not have to think because it is “first-nature.”
The time needed to develop a discipline that becomes a lifestyle varies from one person to another, but when it happens, leadership expands to a new level.
This week’s word involves “sensitive insight.” The idea, however, is stronger when connected to additional words describing leaders who are perceptive: discerning, intuitive, observant, and discriminating.
Leaders are aware of the nature and importance of perception. The perception of followers concerning the words and activities of leaders is vital to the credibility and confidence placed in leadership.
When leaders are perceptive, the idea goes beyond the concepts connected to the perception of others. The idea extends to a leader’s insight of individuals, situations, and plans.
Consider the implication of a perceptive leader that has shown and continues to show good judgment. Their discernment is exemplified as credible and perceptive.
The instinctive, or intuitive, quality of a leader allows them to use their feelings accurately, and through observation, carry a perceptive focus.
When leaders demonstrate themselves as discriminating, we see good taste as it relates to judgment, which brings us full circle.
A perceptive leader is invaluable in any organization and this is certainly true when applying scripture to the development of the church and our lives as Christians.