Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

How do U spend your time?

It has been a while since I posted my raw thoughts on leadership. Much has happened since then and I was reflecting recently on how as a leader I spend my time. Then I came across a passage in my Leadership Bible by John Maxwell that I would like to share with U.

“Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as hand-breadths, and my age is nothing before You; certainly every man at his best state is but vapor.” Psalm 39:4-5

John wrote the following about that particular Psalm in a devotional thought that he titled ‘Spend minutes wisely‘.

In Psalm 90, David shows his mindfulness of his brief time on earth. He asks God to help him number his days, which ought to be the prayer of every leader. Wise leaders work to redeem the time they have.

A leader needs to wonder if the task is worth the time investment. What would happen if the leader wasn’t the one doing it? Is there someone else who could do it just as well, and for whom the task would be time better spent? A good leader knows that time is like gold, and good “spending habits” are essential. It’s just that in this case the units are minutes, not dollars.

If you don’t know where your time goes – that’s a danger signal. If you can save small bits of time and consolidate them into a chunk of time that can be spent on something worthwhile – that’s like “found money.” If leaders can number their minutes and hours, “numbering their days” will be easier.

Excerpt from The Maxwell Leadership Bible

May we learn how to number our days and thus redeem the time we have been given.

Advertisements

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.

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.

The Penalty of a King’s Pride

Every one of us who has been on the journey of leadership desires to be successful and have growing influence. None of us ever wants to be known or remembered for being mundane or useless and as such, our natural tendency is to embrace the vision of our hearts and run with it with all that we have.

However, while on the pursuit of God and we prosper, we must then be very careful. Why? Because success can often times open the door to  pride which in turn can cause us to fix our eyes on our accomplishments, and not on the God who allowed us to carry out anything to begin with. This in turn will compromise the greatness that God has called us to.

In 2 Chronicles 26, we read about King Uzziah’s successes but sadly his tragic fall.  The root of his transgression (2 Chronicles 26:16) was a heart of pride, and we are warned that pride is a lust that ruins more that any other. And surely pride comes before a fall.

With the help of God, this leader of God’s people grew  strong, grew in wealth, in interest, and in power. But just like the prosperity of fools, that puffs them up with pride and destroys them, so was it with this king. Instead of lifting up the name of God in gratitude to Him who had done so much for him, his heart became lifted up to his own doom and destruction.

Out the many lessons that we can learn from this story,  I want to share one with all you leaders.  And it is this; Power can ignite pride, which eventually does lead to problems. When we boast in our achievements, pride checks in. And God resists the proud. With King Uzziah God gave a classic instance of His resisting the proud. If we become proud and presumptuous and cannot be made to see our error by the judgments of God’s mouth (through the warnings of those He has appointed to that duty in our lives) or God’s word (as we read in the scriptures), we shall be made to see it by the judgments of His hand. We must guard our hearts and lives from this crippling disease.

Remember, when pride builds up in our hearts, everything we are will eventually be torn down. King Uzziah strove with the priests, but he could not strive with God his Maker. Neither can we.

Finishing well as a Leader

King Solomon began his leadership over Israel well but somewhere down the road deviated from the ways of God and eventually he failed and was not able to finish well. At the beginning of his leadership, he enjoyed great success and fame but the good times got into his head and his heart. Some of the things I see in his leadership :

  • His perspective got fuzzy
  • He began to overestimate his own importance
  • He grew blind to his weaknesses and refused to be held accountable
  • He started to trust in human ingenuity rather than in God

As Solomon drifted away from His calling, his worship of God grew cold and sterile and in the course of time, it became a ritual rather than a relationship with Him who had given him the responsibility of leading Israel. Solomon grew emotionally detached from God and eventually God’s presence and blessings began to reduce over his public leadership and private life.

May this be a sobering example to warn us who are tasked as leaders from drifting from our passion. When we start to engage with our leadership activities as mere routine, letting them become nothing more than items we check off our to-do-lists then we may be wondering from our original call to lead as God’s leaders.

When we become distracted by side shows and petty issues that are peripheral  to what our mandate is, and deviate from the purpose or call that first led us to serve, we  may be wondering from our original call to lead as God’s leaders. If we start to overestimate our self importance  and excuse our  failings and even become exceptions to the rules, we may be wondering from our original call to lead as God would have us lead.

Let us understand that as leaders, we cannot separate our spiritual condition from our successes or failures for that matter. Our leadership must begin at the place of relationship with our heavenly Father. Let us remain connected to him in intimacy and we shall avoid pride, blindness, presumption, hardness of heart, and many of the sins we see in the life of Solomon.

Myths of Leadership

The number one misconception people have about leaders is the belief that leadership comes simply from having a position or title. But nothing could be further from the truth. You don’t need to possess a position at the top of your group, department, division or organization in order to lead. If you think you do, then you have bought into the position myth.

Leadership in Dependence

No matter what level of talent you possess, you’re dependent on others for success. As a leader, your influence derives from an awareness of your dependence and a willingness to express thanks to those whom you rely upon for help.     Read the full article…