If we are honest, the thought has crossed our minds. If only we had more money. If only we had more time. If only we had more personnel. If only we were larger, smaller, etc. If only…
Too often we sit and think about the hypothetical possibilities of what could happen “if only.”
Instead, as leaders, the driving force in our lives should be the kind of vision that we will do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Walt Disney amassed an empire on the foundation of a mouse. His thought was simple, “If you can think it, you can do it.”
Do we limit what can be accomplished, or perhaps limit what we believe God will accomplish, because we’ve convinced ourselves we cannot do it?
On several occasions in the Old Testament the thought is expressed, “Is the power of the Lord limited?” Jesus said, “With God all things are possible.”
The next time we think, “If only,” maybe we should think, “we have God on our side. There is nothing we cannot achieve.” Dream Big!
Recently, while reading some of John Maxwell’s material, I came across three powerful words: Survival, Success, and Significance.
Meditate for a few minutes on each of these words. The majority of people only seek to survive. They may only look to where the next meal will come from or how to earn a few dollars to buy food. The matter is one of trying to survive life.
Others seek a level of success. Perhaps they want success in areas of financial security. Maybe they desire success in athletic or academic levels of achievement. In whatever way success is defined, they strive to obtain it.
There are far too few who realize the limited time we have on earth is about making a significant difference. Significance requires thinking beyond ourselves and any kind of inward, self-centered approach. Leaders should understand the power of their influence and wield that influence for the purpose of making an impact that is significant for eternity.
How would we describe our leadership? Are we striving to survive, enjoy success, or make a difference that is significant.
Effective communication can be challenging. Simply because we speak the same language does not indicate we effectively communicate.
Amazingly enough, the advances in technology have not improved our ability to communicate. Worse still, is the fact that most people believe themselves to be good communicators, when in actuality, they are not.
Written forms of communication open the doors for reaching more people at one time, but it does not ensure our communication was effective. The inability to listen to the tone of voice, see the body language, and to repeat back what was heard makes the matter even more complicated.
Leadership requires the ability to communicate effectively. The nature of effective communication means one has the ability to practice active listening. It further involves the ability to express our intent in words understood by those who listen.
While it might appear to be easy, one of the most difficult tasks we face in leadership is communication. We must learn to communicate effectively, which takes time and practice. We may not master the art of communication, but we can certainly improve in this much needed area.
Leadership can be filled with days where we begin wondering if leadership is the right choice. The challenges can create the kind of difficulties that cause leaders to: a) step out of the leadership role, or b) never enter into a leadership role.
No area in life is going to be perfect or smooth, such is life.
As well, we should remember that God never promised a carefree, problem free life either. If anything, God ensures us that life is going to be filled with problems, difficulties, and suffering.
If the greatest leader who ever walked this earth dealt with these challenges, we should never think our life will be exempt from them.
True leadership learns how to deal with those challenges in the most godly, Christian manner possible.
Rely upon God for guidance in approaching these challenges.
Develop a strong determination to lead no matter how difficult the road.
Seek help from seasoned leaders who have faced difficulties.
Above all, understand that these are only temporary.
God provides hope for better days ahead. Let us lead with a strong determination.
We live in a competitive world and the number one goal appears to be “winning.” Winning dominates every field of sports. Individuals and teams desire to be winners at all cost. Losing is not an option.
Several years ago the negative impression of losing was summarized in the statement, “Second place is the first loser.”
Nelson Mandela once said, “I never lose. I either win or learn.” Imagine the difference in this mindset. The concept of losing does not exist, but rather learning.
Leaders can benefit from the desire to learn. When we view failure or loss as final or fatal, we miss the opportunity to learn how to improve who we are as leaders. When this mindset exists we can easily fall into the trap of compromise in order to win. We often cut corners, minimize relationships, and view people as objects to reach our own objectives or agenda.
Leaders must view each day, activity, and task as an opportunity to learn. We learn how to improve who we are and what we do for the benefit of the church and the glory of God.
The value of education is recognized by the efforts put forth in the family to ensure children attend school. As parents, we want our children to learn how to read and write, to understand the history of our country and world, and to gain a perspective of math and science. Of course, there are numerous other subjects that fall into this category.
However, do we grasp the urgency of a spiritual education? New Testament authors emphasize God’s plan for the church to grow. God expects us to grow (Hebrews 5:12), commands us to grow (2 Peter 3:18), and designed the church that it would grow (Ephesians 4:11-16).
With the emphasis on spiritual growth, leaders must take a more serious look at the situation and how we can better equip God’s people.
We are responsible not just to teach, but to teach others “how” to learn from God’s word in order that they might teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).
If we value what we learned from someone who took the time to teach us, then we need to imitate their faith (Hebrews 13:7).
As fascinating as it may or may not be, there are two words with three letters each that establish the most powerful questions a leader can consider.
The first question to consider is “why?” Beyond seeking the cause and effect, the implication behind this question is to determine the purpose behind the decisions being made and the actions taken.
Why does this task require leadership?
Why should we pursue this direction?
Why is this work important?
Why is this the best course of action to reach our goals?
The second question to consider is “how?” Once we understand the purpose behind the decisions or actions, we must then determine how we are going to fulfill them.
How do we become a leader?
How will we accomplish this task?
How should we handle the obstacles when they occur?
How can we get others involved?
If we, as leaders, will take the time to ask these two questions and determine the answers, the pathway to success is much clearer. Nothing could be stronger from a spiritual perspective.