Leadership has made me better

‘Leading is about becoming a better person. Everyday. Applying yourself regardless of where you came from. It’s about the relationship between those who lead and those who choose to follow.‘ I really liked this quote that I saw recently in an article done by http://johnbossong.com/author/john-bossong/. It reminds me to constantly check if as I lead others I am improving in the areas where some of my weaknesses are, where my blinds pots reside. And this is primarily because as I have led, I am exposed to not only those I lead but to other leaders.

Both these categories of people have the ‘right’ to speak into my life and say when things are going well and when they are not. When I have not kept time for meetings, I have been called out on that. When I have not delivered my reports on time,I have been called out on that too. When my team is not functioning optimally I have had to answer some hard questions. And in every of these areas, I have had to grow n my character. It is not always easy to take in criticism or not justify myself when others give a critique, yet looking back, I cans see areas where I have grow.

Humility has continued to be an area for me to grow as a leader just as much as keeping to my word. Even when it hurts. Every day, I get the opportunity to sit and reflect on my day or the episodes of my life that have gone through and see clear patterns of attitude adjustments here and there. I am liking the person I am becoming in the process, and that has been made possible because of the leadership opportunities that have come my way.

It is now very clear to me that leadership, with all its challenges has been an avenue that has allowed me to grow in many ways and to become a better individual. By divine grace, I will continue on this path and celebrate in days to come, the better person I shall become.

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Is mine a Living Sacrifice?

Having read the account of Abraham walking for several days under God’s instructions to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice in Genesis 22:1-9, I am awestruck at the wisdom of God. That He knew the kind of man Abraham was. I am also awestruck that Abraham was willing to go with this plan.

The walk with Isaac on the final leg of that journey must have stripped Abraham of every human resolution as father and son conversed tenderly, and maybe their last. However, Abraham was SURE that God would provide. In verse 8, Abraham says that “…God will provide for himself a lamb”. He did not know how. But he knew God would raise Isaac. Somehow.

So, Abraham takes the knife, and stretches out his hand to give up his son as the required sacrifice. As Mathew Henry says in his commentary of this passage, ‘here is an act of faith and obedience, which deserves to be a spectacle to God, angels, and men. God, by his providence, calls us to part with an Isaac sometimes, and we must do it with cheerful submission to his holy will.’

As leaders, what are you willing to part with this new season of your life for the sake of having that which is truly worth having? Clout? Status? Authority? Power? I believe that which is truly worth having is a life with God Himself.  May you and I learn how to give up the ‘temporal things’ around us so we can enter into a new fresh and dynamic relationship with God. And then we can become living sacrifices. And consequently we can become the leaders He has called us to be.

Why Can’t I follow you Now?

 A very happy and prosperous 2013 to you all who follow my thoughts on leadership on this blog. I hope the year brings with it, divine opportunities so that your own leadership can grow and go to the next level. So much promise and so many exciting things to do.

And yet doors may seem open and you naturally want to go through them. Let me sound a warning here. Be careful not to rush as there may be lessons God wants to teach you and I on the virtue of patience. Let’s see this at play in one of God’s leaders in scripture.

In John 13:37 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” In the verses before this, Jesus and his disciples had been having a conversation and Peter’s take was that probably Jesus intended to go some long journey, which would have  subjected him to many inconveniences and unnecessary fatigue. Probably he (Peter) also felt the need to follow Jesus in this supposed journey, at every cost! However, because he did not see our Lord’s meaning, he saw no reason why he could not go with Jesus.

“I will lay down my life for your sake.” Really Peter? It’s clear that he was sincere, but he did not know the limit of his own strength.  He was willing to die, but when the time came he was not able.  Out of this comes a lesson that I hope we can all see and learn from. Never run before God’s guidance to do things (good or otherwise) for Him on the impulse of feelings.

Christ must first die for Peter, before Peter can die for him. Let us never think we can do anything, without the immediate assistance of God.
Peter’s subsequent denial should be an eternal warning to all self-confident leaders, that even though there be sincerity and good will in our intentions in 2013, yet when the trials come, these may not be enough to perform that which belongs to the power of God. We should will, and then look to God for power to execute. Without him we can do nothing.
In 2013, let us be leaders who are not led by our natural impulses or feelings but rather those who know how to wait upon the Lord.
Again, a happy and prosperous 2013 to each and every one of you.

Leadership of the Holy Spirit

We read in Zechariah 1:18-19 how the prophet Zechariah raised his eyes and looked, and he saw four horns. And he said to the angel who talked with him, “What are these?” The angel replied and said, “These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”

Here in these scriptures, horns, denote the enemies’ dignity and dominion.The reason for their pride. Horns exalted, also denote their strength, power, and violence. Just like the Jews who were facing these four horns, we too may be surrounded from every side; when we avoid one horn that pushes at us from one side, we run against another.

The church (you and I) has enemies that have horns they use to hinder us from the good work that the Lord has called us to. We may look up, and certainly see the enemy, forceful and furious, and also see his boastings and his violence that is arrayed against us. And that may give rise to fear in our hearts.

But in His mercy,  the Lord will show us ‘carpenters or craftsmen’ or His great and mighty power that He has employed to the crushing of these evil powers that array against us (Zechariah 1:20). For every one of the four horns of evil that comes against you and I, God has provided a counteracting power adequate to destroying it.

My one point is this; Our fear of danger can so engage or consume us that we often overlook the divine help provided for us. Through the leadership of the Holy and Eternal Spirit of God, whatever the enemies against us, we have greater friends for us. Let us always remember that, when God has work to be done, He will raise up some to do it and others to defend it and protect those that are employed in the doing of it. And since the Lord God almighty is our help, He will break all the horns of the ungodly that come against us.

The Leadership Brand

Mavuno Church has just concluded a leadership series titled ‘The Govenor’ and it has been phenomenally delivered by Pst Linda O Adolwa (@LindaAdolwa). For any Nairobian who is interested in voting wisely in the next coming general election, and MORE SO for the 1st elected governor of this city, this series is a must listen.

The first part in the 4 part series was titled The Leaders We Deserve and the main take out was that WE GET EXACTLY THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP WE TOLERATE! This was preached on 4th November 2012.

The second part in this series, delivered on the 11th November 2012, was titled Dangerous Leaders and we heard that WHAT DISTINGUISHES GOOD LEADERS IS NOT THEIR PERSONALITY, BUT THEIR CHARACTER. In other words, leaders are defined by the ongoing decisions that they make.

In the third part of this leadership series done on the 18th November 2012 and titled The Widow and the Judge, we were charged with a more personal take out; ‘I MUST BE VIGILANT IN DEMANDING ACCOUNTABLE LEADERSHIP.’

On 25th November, in the forth and final part of this series titled The Leadership Brand we heard that AUTHORITY IS FOR SERVICE NOT FOR PERSONAL AGGRANDIZEMENT and another personal take out was when a leader becomes destructive it is my duty to select another leader in his place.

Pastor Linda said repeatedly in her series that ‘good leadership comes with a responsibility’. Personally I am now more convinced of my own responsibility in what is at stake over this city in the next coming months as we count down to the general elections. I cannot sit back and expect good leadership to come automatically. If I over spiritualize issues then I have misunderstand the faith and I water down the leadership brand.

Let us not continue to be ridiculed as believers because we are so out of touch with what is around us. Good leaders don’t grow on trees. Because of what we witnessed in the last general elections in 2007, many of us could go into these elections without sufficient reflections of the issues at hand. Bad governance will happen if we tolerate it and if we don’t play our part, then we must suffer the consequences of bad leadership. We have a duty to vet those vying for public office and to determine the right leaders for this city and nation. Period.

Obedience of a Leader

In the book of Jeremiah in chapter 39, we read of the consequences that befall a leaders who had chosen, repeatedly to disobey the instructions, reprimands and the reproving of God. This was King Zedekiah, not a very old man, probably in his early 30’s. God had sent word to this king through the prophet Jeremiah but he continued on in his ways of arrogance and hardheartedness (as many rich powerful men in their youth do).

But things turned grave for him . The prophesied capture of the great city of Jerusalem has happened. And even the king is also captured as he tried to dessert the fallen city. We read how the invading King Nebuchadnezzar treats the captured king’s family members and those of his court as well as how king Zedekiah is humiliated. In verse 6 we read, ‘Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes in Riblah; the king of Babylon also killed all the nobles of Judah. 7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon.’

The disobedience of a leader has the potential to impact not just himself but also the lives of those around him. We see this repeatedly in the scriptures. Even with many warnings, King Zedekiah had shut his eyes to the light, and now God forever shuts him up in darkness (by the removal of his eyes). This leader, Zedekiah, had chosen the bondage of sin, and now he must wear the chains of misery ( the fetters to his arms and legs).

My this be a lesson for us all who have been given the huge responsibility of leadership: God has very effective ways of dealing with our pride and arrogance and those who disobey Him. We are not called to obey Him out of fear but to do so out of love.

Have a loving obedient week.

Growing my confidence

My success as a leader will ultimately increase in direct proportion to my confidence.  At least this was a clear takeout from an article I read recently done by Kevin Eikenberry . He says that when we are not confident, we tend to naturally revert to fear, and when we do, inaction becomes the result.

Some of the other negative traits that follow from being in a space of fear are being tentative, we delay doing things that we need to do and even procrastinate on making the right decision.  He pointed out that ‘when you are able to let go of fear, you take action more quickly and easily. Read more from his article The Confidence/Competence Loop.

In the meantime, let me encourage U all to look for areas where you can grow in competence as this will build your confidence.

Every blessing.