Strategy is a plan of action to achieve a desired aim or goal. General Norman Schwarzkopf claimed that, “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”
While character is the core and must hold higher value than strategy, at the same time, strategy is needed.
Without strategy, who is going to do what, for whom, and when? Without strategy, there are no plans to reach a goal, regardless of the goal(s) set before us.
We use strategy in several areas of every day life. These strategies may not be written out in details, but they are strategically oriented nonetheless.
We use strategies in traveling, family development, job description, biblical teaching, and much more.
We would be hard pressed to find an area of life where strategy is not involved at some level, so it behooves us to benefit from using strategy in leadership.
Leaders need to establish goals and establish a strategy in how to reach those goals, leading with the future in mind. Time will not be wasted in strategic development.
This thought must be considered in light of a few questions.
What are we doing about the present condition of leadership? What are we doing about the future of leadership? What are we doing to implement the development of biblical leaders?
We need to give consideration to all possibilities. We must, however, take the answers seriously.
Challenges face every move to improve the situation. Efforts to make a difference are viewed with skepticism toward liberal tendencies.
Doing the right thing in leadership has been squashed under the guise of liberalism for so long, growth has been limited, if not completely eliminated.
Enthusiasm to learn and implement something new or different is sequestered off in the halls of youth and familiarity; “they will eventually learn how things are done around here.”
What are we doing to change eternity, if the only thing we are doing is exactly what we have done for the past 50 years?
This is not implying change for the sake of change. At some point, however, we need to recognize where we are, where we are going, and what we must do to get there.
Few people are fans of adversity. More factually, no one enjoys adversity. The exposure to health, family, financial, and hundreds of other challenges cause us to reflect on who we are, why we are here, and how we will endure.
Walt Disney once said, “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
On the one hand, reflection can lead to doubt and negativity, but on the other hand, reflection can remind us of the nature of God’s working through adversity to strengthen us and make us into the servants He desires of us.
The words of Walt Disney may seem a little more blunt, but the point is the same. There are times when the adversity, troubles, and obstacles in life are the best thing for us.
Leaders who understand this are better equipped to help others when they face adversity and ask strong reflecting questions.
A study of leaders and leadership reveals a plethora of information that presents a daunting task of determining what is right and who is the right leader to follow.
Solomon was certainly right when he said, “The writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body” (Ec. 12:12).
However, God provided us with a book that reveals information sufficient for what is right and the right leader to follow.
No greater qualities for leadership are identified today than those addressed throughout the pages of the Bible.
No greater example of leadership can be found than the example left by Jesus.
Dedicating ourselves to learning the truths provided by God and studying the example of Jesus will result in a godly leader.
There is no better way to honor and glorify the God we serve than by leading with our eyes focused on Jesus and our hearts devoted to the following the depths of His word.
When followers have this example in earthly leaders, they will follow the right leader.
“Practice makes perfect” is a common expression to most. Recently, someone added that “perfect practice makes perfect.” Regardless, the idea expresses the need to do something over and over again, until the art is right.
The level of perfection may be subjective to each individual. However, the need for practice must be a part of our growth and development as leaders.
Olympic athletes are groomed from a young age. The drills, routines, or exercises are perfected through hours of daily practice. Their life is dedicated to one purpose, performing for those few minutes without giving way to pressure.
Doing, action, application, and preparation are all terms associated with practice. No longer is about theory, but method. Here is where the rubber meets the road and details are worked out for implementation.
Several qualities of a leader may actually be inherent, but one thing is certain, developing the ability to lead must be worked on continually.
We need to be focused, dedicated, diligent, and steadfast to the one purpose that God has called us for, and lead others for His cause.
The reality of bad things happening is inevitable. No one is immune from the negative, discouraging, or bad that occurs, even if it is simply perspective.
Although the author is unknown, the following quote has strong implication, “When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”
Regardless of one’s perspective, the choice of what is done when these events happen is what makes the difference in life.
If difficulties define us, we tend to only focus on the drudgery of life and the poor hand we have been dealt, “woe is me.”
If difficulties destroy us, then life becomes little more than existence. Nothing is worth talking about or doing.
If difficulties strengthen us, we are better prepared to help others face their challenges, and we are better equipped for the next difficulty that may come our way.
We should not seek difficulties, but when they come, let us always use the opportunity to face them in such a way to better prepare us as leaders.
One of the greatest challenges facing biblical leaders involves the uncompromising conviction of truth.
Not during the times of comfort does this moment become critical, but when difficulties of a physical, social, or financial nature press in on the well-being of leaders.
The moment of truth is not measured by what a leader hopes, desires, or thinks might be needed.
The moment of truth is measured by what a leader does, the stand that is taken, and the demonstration of character when it is not popular with the majority.
The time comes in the life of every person when they must decide how they are going to act or react to the environment or circumstances before them.
In that moment, the decision that is made determines the effectiveness of each leader.
No pleasure, monetary prize, popularity, or status of prestige is worth compromising the truth and the principles of character that stand behind it.
Leaders are needed who hold to and lead by the truth delivered from God to the world.
Allow the moment of truth to be a definition of true leadership.