Albert Einstein is credited with say, “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
The search for happiness appears to be the never ending pursuit of most people. Some search for happiness in material things or vast wealth, as if the accumulation of money or stuff will bring happiness.
Some pursue happiness through relationships, looking for “Mr. or Mrs. Right,” as though someone else can make them happy.
The list could go on, but all of these areas will disappoint in the long run.
Einstein’s thought deserves attention in the arena of leadership. Concerning the church today, and following on the heels of yesterday’s post on success, imagine the atmosphere in people’s lives individually and the church corporately when we are tied and committed to a goal.
One of the primary tasks of leaders is to provide a vision that followers can be passionate about because when they are passionate about it they will give their lives to it. Then, we set a goal before them that will drive every breath, thought, and action.
Happiness will most likely follow.
Before we can experience success, we must understand what we mean be success.
The definition of success on a personal and corporate level takes on different dimensions accordingly. We also find that the definition of success often changes with the stage and development of one’s life. Based on the generic dictionary definition, success is “an event that accomplishes its intended purpose, an attainment that is successful.”
A problem tends to enter the picture when we consider success strictly from a position of fame or prosperity.
Most of us know this intellectually, but still find it difficult to determine how we define success otherwise.
One thought, however, should be considered in the realm of leadership. If we do not know how to define success, creating a vision for the future will be met with great challenge.
When we do not know the destination, how will we ever know if we reach it? Beyond this, why would anyone be passionate about pursuing the vision?
Unless we first define what we mean by success, any thought to our vision crumbles with a sense of mediocrity.
What qualities would describe the perfect leader?
Of course, the only perfect leader was Jesus. The accounts of His life, as described in the gospels, leave us with an incredible biography of leadership.
From these records we learn of His compassion, empathy, humility, love, and much more. One quality that seems to rise to the top is the servant’s heart displayed in every action.
Jesus came to this earth as a bond-servant and He left this earth as a bond-servant. Every breath between these two points exemplified servant-leadership. Here are a few lessons to learn from His example:
1) Servants do not look out for their own interests, but seek to put others above themselves (Phi. 2:3-5).
2) Servants are aware of the present circumstances and extend a solution to the need (Jn. 6:1-14 cf. v. 5).
3) Servants never seek opportunity for their own glory, but look to glorify God (Mt. 5:16; Jn. 8:49-59).
These are only three ideas among four gospels that provide a source worth exploring to improve our leadership of God’s people.
Before we dig in, we have to know what the heart issue is talking about.
Do we have the heart for leadership? Our leadership is about influence, passion, character, vision and much more. If we have the heart for our leadership then we do what is necessary to prepare ourselves in each area to grow and develop appropriately.
Do we have the heart for challenges? Without exception, leaders are going to face challenges. While some will always be more difficult than others, they are challenges nonetheless. When we have the heart for challenges, we begin preparing before the challenge happens. We also see wise counsel before making decisions affecting the challenge.
Do we have the heart for people? Good leadership involves people and no two people are the same. Having a heart for people means being a part of their lives and being transparent to them with our own. Connecting with people raises leadership to incredible heights and makes an eternal difference.
Not everyone has the heart for it. However, those who have a heart for leadership change the shape of tomorrow.
A recent thought was suggested to a group of men with powerful implications.
If the Lord were to require of you and me that we could not go to heaven until we converted 1,000 souls to Christ, what would we do?
We should state at this point, even though it should be obvious, this is not a matter of simply dunking people in water and claiming (since they have been baptized) they are converted.
With that out of the way, what would you and I really do?
We know this is not the Lord’s requirement, but if it were, would we not stop everything we currently do and start diligently trying to share the gospel with others?
Why do we allow ourselves to think we have plenty of time, when the Lord could come now, or those we want to reach might die?
What will it take for me to realize the urgency of eternity? When will I recognize the reality of hell?
Life is too short to focus on the here and now. Lead people to see the hereafter! Eternity Matters!
The culture we live in has a great ability to act one way, yet at the core be something completely different.
We often refer to this as hypocrisy. While this is true, we also need to understand that our culture has worked on this long enough it is now accepted and normal.
A number of tragedies over the years have occurred where individuals walked into a movie theater, high school, restaurant, or mall and began a killing rampage. One of the most common thoughts expressed by those who knew the individual is how they never expected this kind of activity.
On the surface they seemed “normal.” However, at the core they were someone quite different.
There is also a connection to spiritual leadership. How many times throughout the past century has the core of a religious leader been exposed in sinful activity?
Our leadership needs to be characterized by a core that walks with integrity, works righteousness, and speaks truth in the heart.
Here is where we begin to develop the opportunity for our greatest influence.
We’ve all heard the adage “those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
Success in any area does not usually happen by accident. Quality is not the result of happenstance.
Success and quality are the results of high intention and planning with a dedication to persevere to the end.
Far too often people tend to wander through life with the day in and day out routine of addressing whatever happens to come their way. When difficulty is faced or tragedy occurs questions are raised: How and why did this happen, as well as, what should be done next?
However, when a plan is in place from the beginning, once these challenges occur, foresight has already formulated direction if there is the proverbial bump in the road.
This does not mean we will never have to deal with the unexpected, but if we negotiate the curve before we are in it, then we know how to handle those times.
Leading requires a plan. This is more significant when the spiritual application is connected. Whatever time is given to develop a good plan, it will always produce success and quality.