Occasionally, an interesting thought finds its way into the leadership folder that must be shared. These thoughts connect to the direction of leadership, especially as it relates to how we respond in relationships.
Kimberly Jones shares this short but significant thought, “Don’t let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace.”
What direction is the pull in our leadership? Do we find ourselves pulled into the storms raging in the lives of others, or do we seek to pull them into the peace only found in Christ?
Here are a few suggestions when we face these situations connected to Matthew 14:22-33.
1) We must first be at peace ourselves. When storms rage in our lives it is difficult to help others.
2) Make sure to point people to Jesus––to focus on Him––especially in the midst of their storm.
3) Offer a hand up, not a handout. The way up occurs when we assist, rather than do the work for them.
4) The best course is faith, always has been and always will.
Trust is critically important to the direction of our pull.
Pressure carries multiple meanings: 1) continuous physical force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it, 2) the use of persuasion, influence, or intimidation to make someone do something, and 3) an attempt to persuade or coerce someone into doing something.
There is no doubt leadership comes with a strong element of pressure. The issue really becomes how to handle or deal with the pressure when it arises within leadership.
Working to equip the next generation in this area might work in the reverse. We may find ourselves learning from the next generation how to handle the pressure that leaders face today. Here are a few thoughts to consider.
The best avenue for approaching pressure is fervent prayer. God listens.
Recognize that pressure is part of leadership. It will come.
Learn to relieve pressure through activity. Exercise is a great place to start.
Create expectations that are achievable and be cautious about being unrealistic.
Break the big chunks into smaller ones and focus on one at a time.
Never forget that trials in life serve to perfect us into the people God wants and needs us to be in service to Him and others.
One challenge spiritual leaders face today involves decision-making to please everyone. Usually, the “squeaky wheel” gets the grease. Those who complain the most and loudest tend to get action.
Marco Rubio says, “We live in a society obsessed with public opinion. But leadership has never been about popularity.”
Leaders often struggle with decisions that might cause someone to leave the church and go somewhere else or abandon it altogether.
Leaders are needed who will practice the following: 1) examine the scripture to make sure the decision is biblical and not just following the flow of modern popularity or opinion, 2) never rush a decision, but do not hesitate between two opinions either, 3) if the decision is right, then make it, 4) remember, not every decision will please everyone.
The next generation of leaders must learn how to make sound, biblical decisions. There may be those who leave, but if the decision is for the greater good of the whole, it should be made.
More could be said, but the responsibility of training the next generation of leaders to be decisive is crucial to the future.
Communication is critical to the success of building relationships and reaching goals.
Leaders who communicate well are able to articulate the vision, inspire the actions of others, and strengthen the character of an organization to achieve long lasting rewards. This is where good communication thrives.
However, the foundation for these three areas is built upon knowing the people involved in the work, and this requires the ability to actively listen.
Several hindrances occur when trying to listening to others: 1) we are waiting for an opportunity to speak what is on our mind. We are not listening, but formulating our own thoughts, 2) we are distracted with the activities of the environment and cannot, or will not, focus on what is being said, or 3) we really do not care about the other person.
If we have any hope of preparing the next generation of leaders, we must listen. Remove distractions, focus on the person speaking, and truly listen. When we do, amazing results occur.
Leaders will build stronger relationships, encourage followers, and take steps to achieve goals that build the overall organization.
The second step to leadership in the next generation involves determination. The challenges connected to leadership often 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 or problem-free life. If anything, God ensures us that life is going to be filled with problems, difficulties, and suffering. Therefore, we must prepare the next generation with the determination to deal with these challenges.
True leadership learns how to deal with challenges with the most godly, Christ-like attitude possible and equip others to lead in the same manner. A few suggestions to consider include the following.
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 they are only temporary.
God provides hope for better days ahead. Let us lead with strong determination and help the next generation to lead equally so.
Last week, we discussed the challenge of equipping the next generation to lead. As noted on Friday, there are a number of steps that are essential to lay the proper foundation.
If there is one step that enables us to consider the proper direction, it is prayer. Nothing is more foundational. We must pray for guidance and ask God to help us equip the next generation to lead.
Read the accounts in the Old Testament where Joshua and Israel marched into Canaan. Every time they did not seek prior counsel with God, consequences were incurred.
If we feel we can rely on the past, some form of “wingin’ it,” or a laissez faire approach in our efforts, we are already defeated.
We also need to know that it will take more than a casual mention of the need when we think of it. We must be fervent, diligent, persistent, and plead with God to help us, because of the consequences if we do not.
Think seriously about the nature of the situation and start praying now about how we can take the next step to achieve our purpose.
Few subjects hold the amount of significance and weight as the subject in today’s post. Without a doubt, a desperate need exists for more and greater leaders today.
A number of books address the next generation of leaders and how the future of the home, country, corporate world, and, above all, church requires our attention in this area. However, a major downfall is found in the approach to succession planning for the next generation.
What are we doing to prepare the next generation of leaders? Have we considered the consequences currently experienced in the church because previous generations lacked a plan? Are we willing to passively watch from the sidelines as another generation arises without the proper preparation and tools to lead?
We have much to consider and the longer we procrastinate the more difficult the journey becomes to equip the next generation of leaders.
A number of steps are essential to lay the foundation and walk into the future equipped to meet the problem head on and change the direction of tomorrow for the next generation. Next week, we will examine several steps needed for this foundation.