Observation of the events and people who participate in our lives on a daily basis is one of the most powerful exercises for leaders.
Leadership is about people, and unless we observe how God works in our lives to provide opportunity to lead, we will miss the possibility of God using us to help others.
A Chinese proverb emphasizes the way to a lifetime of happiness: “If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap. If you want happiness for a day––go fishing. If you want happiness for a year––inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime––help someone else.”
Helping others can only occur when leaders observe the people God places in their lives each day.
Leaders must seek to discover what is going on in the lives of these individuals, why it is taking place, and how they might be able to show the light of Jesus by helping.
Take a few moments each day to simply observe the working of God through the opportunities provided in the lives of the special people placed on our daily path.
How often do we think about our potential, but then step back from achieving it because we are afraid of the unknown?
Esmeralda Santiago asks the question, “How can you know what you are capable of if you don’t embrace the unknown?”
Few enjoy the unknown. We see variables that play into the unknown. We develop scenarios, which usually focus on the negative or create a defeatist mindset. In the end, the cons outweigh the pros and we walk away from our potential.
What can we do to embrace the unknown and enjoy the possibilities?
Remember, reaching for our potential requires a level of risk. However, the benefits of reaching that potential are far greater than the risk involved.
Even if we fail, failure is not fatal. If everyone quit at the first sign of failure, imagine where we would be without electricity, phones, and hundreds of other luxuries.
Start small and gradually venture into additional unknown areas. A jump into the deep end of the pool is not required to reach our potential.
Maybe we can take a step or two in the right direction.
We need to be strong in every area of life: physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually.
Through the aging process we are all aware of the decline in our physical strength. There are times when a decline in emotional and intellectual strength also occurs.
The most frightening area connected to this decline in strength occurs in the spiritual realm.
Perhaps we have all seen or personally experienced the struggles of remaining strong and faithful on a spiritual basis.
During these times a strong leadership is needed to provide support and encouragement to help lead someone out of their struggles.
Paul encourages Christians to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God” (Ep. 6:10-11).
Examining each of the pieces of armor reveals the closeness of each area to all that is found in God’s word. Our strength comes from what God provides us through His word.
The reason for this incredible tool is to help us find the strength we need to help others in leading them out of sin into the marvelous light of our God.
To be observant as a leader should go without saying. The power associated with an observant leader is deeply tied to its definition.
Alert: When leaders are alert, they are quick to notice anything unusual or potentially dangerous. Various situations will require leaders to be alert and act quickly. The spiritual battle that rages is one that requires leaders to be alert.
Watchful: Leaders who are carefully watching others and the situation are said to be watchful. Followers need those who are careful to look over the lives who are entrusted to their care.
Aware: When there is a knowledge or perception of a situation or fact, leaders are aware. The challenge for leadership is learning to be aware of the background influencing the decisions, actions, and words of others.
Attentive: How fitting is it that to be attentive, leaders must pay close attention to someone or something?
Other ideas could be used, but the basis for which leaders successfully lead is found in being observant. Observant leadership is not easy, it requires diligence, time, patience, and great love.
Love is a word in the English language that has come to have multiple meanings. Most often it is associated with feelings. When couples first date and then marry, the feelings experienced are associated with their idea of love. Sadly, when those feelings change or no longer exist they think they do not love the other person any more.
Biblically, love is so much more, it is about seeking the highest good for the other person. Love cannot be self-directed and direct the actions of others.
When leaders do this, it is generally because selfish motives. Again, this is not love.
When leaders truly understand and lead out of love for the souls of others, there will be sacrifice and determination to see that others find a way to reach heaven. A couple of ideas might help in leading out of love:
Love gives without expecting to receive something in return.
Love seeks opportunity to serve in all situations.
Love desires the best for others, even at the cost of personal comfort.
Let us always lead out of love and know the power it brings to leadership.
Perhaps the title of the post is really an answer to the question, “Why do we lead?”
A number of answers could be given to the question, and we must all examine the answers that one might give. Here are a few possibilities:
There are those who lead for the power. They simply want authority over others to direct and guide their movement.
Some lead out of a crisis. When crisis strikes, individuals are often forced into a position of leadership.
Others lead because no one else will. Sadly, when good and godly leaders do not rise up, others will lead, but it is not always in the right direction.
Still, there are those who lead for the joy of it. They recognize the need, strive to develop godly and Christlike character, and desire to see souls led to Christ. When we combine these three spiritual thoughts, great blessings will follows.
Even Paul referred to those who led with the wrong motives. The challenge for us is to examine why we lead, and learn to lead for the joy of an eternal outcome that is worth the effort.
How many times have leaders been in a position that no matter what decision was made they were condemned? We call this: Catch 22 Leadership.
The result leaves leaders feeling as if they are being shot at from both sides, in front and from behind.
Leaders must be decisive, and they will always have to face attacks from the enemy in front them. However, they should not have to deal with attacks from followers behind them.
Herein lies the challenge of leadership. These situations have caused many spiritual and godly leaders to step down from serving. Sadly, it has also prevented many leaders of the same character from ever stepping up to serve. What can be done to change the direction of this situation?
Pray with and for these leaders.
Always speak well of leadership to others.
Make it a habit to build them up publicly.
When a problem arises, speak to leaders privately.
Encourage those who are godly to lead.
Begin preparing future leaders among the young now!
Good leadership does not happen by accident. We must work to direct the future today.