Leadership tends to introduce several interesting twists in the development of leaders and followers.
How do we want others to treat us? With respect, integrity, love, appreciation, patience, etc.? If this is true, then Jesus would say treat others this way first!
We must not be influenced or directed by the practices of culture in our relationships.
It is easy to react, instead of acting as we should. Additionally, we must be careful to guard against overreacting.
Leaders must learn to act in keeping with the way we want others to act.
Tonight, our world closes the chapter on one year and turns the page to another that is new, untarnished, clean, pure, and open to all God has in store for us.
Tonight, most people will make resolutions related to their physical health and well-being. However, we need an emphasis on our spiritual health and well-being, especially as we lead into the vast new year ahead.
Now is the time.
Now is all we know with certainty.
Reflect on the past year, but look ahead into the new with a motivation to act, to lead now!
We all make mistakes. We say and do things we wish we had not, and there are no “easy” or “do-over” buttons. The opportunity to receive another chance depends on how we handle the mistake.
Evaluate every possible solution.
Take appropriate action.
When we approach our mistakes with humility and a decisiveness toward appropriate actions, there is opportunity for one more chance.
Is this not what God has done for us?
Before we speak, before we write, before we act, think first. Two words. Simple enough to say and so difficult to follow.
We live in a reactionary world. We tend to react to our circumstances. Life deals an unfair hand and we react. Someone speaks inappropriately and we react. Others take advantage of us and we react.
Leaders must learn how to act. If we can stop the reaction through our words and actions, then maybe, just maybe, the fallout can be prevented.
The only way to learn this lesson is to “think first.”
Internal and external challenges face every leader. These challenges cause leaders to question their ability, opportunity, position, and purpose in leadership.
Confidence in one’s ability diminishes when leaders experience failure, suffer discouragement, or they are harshly criticized by others.
When leaders face this challenge they need to approach each area carefully.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal” is the powerful thought expressed by Winston Churchill. Recognizing that the only time failure exists is when we give up helps us redirect our thinking when success is beyond our reach.
Suffering discouragement generally follows moments of failure. When discouragement takes root, if it is strong enough, we consider quitting. Learning how to overcome discouragement begins by evaluating the cause and seeking help to address it.
Criticism, even when harshly given, provides growth benefits if we are able to see them in this way. We cannot change the motives of those who criticize, but we can choose how we respond. Instead of “reacting,” we need to “act” appropriately as a spiritual leader.
While these are limited ideas, overcoming the challenge is possible. Seek to walk the right path.
Before we speak, write, or act, think first. Two words simple enough to say, yet so difficult to follow.
We live in a reactionary world. We tend to react to circumstances. Life is unfair, so we react. Someone speaks inappropriately and we react. Others take advantage of us and we react.
Leaders must learn how to act. The only way to learn this lesson is to “think first.”
Before we put a word out through social media, think first. How will others perceive what we write?
Before we speak regarding family, personal, or professional matters, think first. Once words are spoken we cannot take them back. We can apologize, wish we could take them, or try to explain, but the bottom line is it’s to late. Think first.
The same is true with our actions. Before we decide to act on any given situation, think first. Remember others are watching. How will they perceive our actions? Will others know the intention of our heart based on what they see?
It is only two words, but two powerful words that need application. Think first!
“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” Thomas Jefferson
We live in a world that tends to react before thinking how to act appropriately. Social media sites fill spaces of information with the reactions of one person to the comments of another.
Sadly, most reaction is based on anger, a lack of adequate details, false information, misguided perspective, and multiple other emotions that tend to eliminate reason and good judgment.
Before we react, consider the difference made when we take a moment to think first and then act appropriately.
As Jefferson stated, the great advantage to be gained is always the path of remaining cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
In these moments, our minds possess a greater ability to think clearly and make decisions that affect how we act. We prevent heated arguments, snap decisions, incorrect accusations, wrong conclusions, and the regret of saying or doing something we cannot retract.
Of all people, leaders need to demonstrate this character as an example for others to follow. Such action will emulate our Savior.