What does leadership sound like? Maybe it is the quiet voice of someone close to us who expresses their love. We might find it sounds like the loud and boisterous voices of children or grandchildren working, laughing, or playing together. It is possible we hear leadership in the form of authoritative instructions directed by a superior. We may also find the sound of leadership in the silence of the moment.
We could go on, but the point is the same. Leadership may sound differently to each individual and within a particular moment.
The implication of today’s post is not as much about the forms the sound of leadership takes as it is about the challenge before us to listen.
Only when we listen to the various avenues, times, and places where leadership occurs will we recognize the influences surrounding us and learn from each one.
The effort we put forth to actively listen for the sounds of leadership brings rewards that benefit the development of our leadership influence, while at the same time realizing the sound of our own leadership.
Consider the value of time and energy connected to our leadership. People are not more incentivized by monetary or physical rewards than time and energy.
When people feel the only value they provide for an organization is from a financial position, then the long-term structure crumbles. We all recognize the time and energy we contribute to growth has value.
The same is true in every relationship. Think about parents who shower their children with gifts, but fail to shower them with time and energy. While children love receiving what they want, we all know the gift does not last long and the feeling at the moment fades quickly.
When time and energy are provided, however, children respond. Their response carries a long-term feeling of joy and, more importantly, a relationship of trust.
If we can emulate the same in our leadership environment, the response is the same. Consider the benefit to the church when Christians see leaders give of their time and energy. The result is huge in raising the level of trust and the desire to achieve the vision set forth by leadership.
We tend to be suspect of people, most events in our lives, and the world where we live, generally speaking. Two thoughts flow from the title of today’s post.
The first connects to the relationship of a leader with those who follow. When leadership exists without the suspicion of motives and actions on the part of followers, we find a situation described as unsuspecting leadership.
The second, however, relates to the character of the leader as it is seen by followers. When a leader’s character exemplifies the kind of integrity that is built on values of godliness, then the motives and actions of the leader are not questioned by followers. They possess an unsuspecting leadership.
The beauty of biblical leadership is found when both ideas are present in the relationship. The result displays trust, not a trust that is superficial, but one that provides transparency and strengthens the core of the church.
Developing this relationship takes time. Quality and durability are rarely the reward of implementing something quickly, but the result of time-honored, detail-oriented, values-based, and spiritually-focused effort.
Scripture clearly indicates that all spiritual blessings are found in Christ (Ep. 1:3). As we conclude this week of thanksgiving, we want to take a moment to consider a few of these spiritual blessings.
Forgiveness of the past: The word translated forgiveness is unique. The idea is summed up as “sent away.” When God forgives our sin, He sends it away. As David wrote, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12).
Strength in the present: While the arsenal needed to get through this life includes listening to God (study) and speaking with God (prayer), the promise of His strength keeps us focused. This is how we learn contentment, as Paul identified, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).
Hope for the future: Realizing the two blessings listed, we are thankful for the hope Christ provides of something that awaits us when we reach the end of our journey on earth. Jesus provided this hope through His death and resurrection. Take a moment to read John 14:1-6.
For these we give thanks.
The Leadership Project is thankful for you.
From our family to yours, we wish you the best of this holiday season.
An opportunity represents circumstances presenting possibility, either to be gained or lost. If we are unable to see the possibility, we will never take advantage of the opportunity.
Life is filled with opportunities. We may choose to pass or act on an opportunity. The possibility also exists that we will neither pass or act on an opportunity because we fail to see it.
As we focus the week on gratitude, we are thankful for the opportunities God provides. Whether we fail to see an opportunity or we see it, what a blessing we have to know God works in our lives daily. He provides us with opportunities to grow closer to Him, recognize the beauty of His handiwork, develop a stronger faith, help and encourage others, love family and friends, work and earn a living, remember those who changed our lives, and the list is unending.
Opportunities abound if we look. We generally find that taking advantage of God-given opportunities provides an abundance of God’s blessings.
Now that is something worth our gratitude. Thank you, Lord.
Throughout life we meet many acquaintances, people we know and people with whom we share a part of our journey through life. We are thankful for the footprint left by these individuals because the composition of the whole is responsible for who we are today.
Throughout life, however, there are those few people who leave more than a footprint on our lives. These individuals draw close in a relationship that involves more than sharing a part of the journey, but they share their lives on this journey. We call them friends.
Sadly, social media has redefined the way we think about friends. A friend is far more than someone who likes, comments on, or shares a link. The thought of having hundreds or thousands as friends through social media is a farce.
Knowing a few who are close friends is a great blessing in life. Many definitions of a friend exist. One that resonates with most says, “A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
For those people in our life that are true friends, today and everyday, we give thanks.