Think about our approach to leadership. How will our influence be remembered in the church and community where we live and serve?
Harry Truman said, “Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”
Will we be remembered because we made a change for the better?
Will our leadership impact the eternal good of others?
If it seems the world stands still around us, maybe it is time we stood up to lead. Seize the opportunity to change things for the better. Lead as God would have us to do!
Are we doing the right thing?
Do our decisions reflect our beliefs?
Will we stand up for what we believe?
Does our leadership demonstrate the courage of our convictions?
Queen Latifah once said, “It’s not always easy to do the right thing. But, doing the right thing makes you strong, it builds character, it forces you to make decisions based upon your beliefs and not what other people think. In life, and in business, you have to stand for what you believe in and sometimes you have to stand alone. But, what makes you a leader is having the courage of your convictions.”
Courage is the choice we make to act upon our convictions at times when doing so moves us into a minority.
Will we answer the questions and take action?
Courage has application for everyone. At some point or another, we face various situations and decisions when we need courage.
Peter Block says, “Courage isn’t done for the sake of being practical. It’s chosen for its own sake. As soon as you make courage practical, you’ve stolen its humanity.”
Courage is rarely developed; rather it is a choice of the moment. As leaders, we face challenging obstacles or decisions and we must choose to act with courage.
The ability to consistently act with courage is a defining mark of great leadership.
Strength and stability are two powerful concepts needed in leadership.
Strength is the quality of being strong, possessing, and demonstrating power. Stability refers to the result of an immovable or unshakeable foundation.
Our convictions must be built upon both.
Our character must possess both.
Our courage must demonstrate both.
When leadership provides strength and stability the church will experience growth. Christians will develop greater confidence and assurance. More in the world will come to know the gospel.
The subjects of wisdom and courage have warranted discussion on many levels for a long time. These two qualities or attributes are critical to the development of leaders.
Mark Amend added a significant level to the dimension of our understanding and application of these two words when he said, “Wisdom is learning to let go when you want to hang on. Courage is learning to hang on when you want to let go.”
How many people or projects have we held on to that were destructive, when wisdom said we should have let go long before?
How many times have we let go when the courage to hang on one more day or week would have delivered success?
We need to develop the posture of learning. Wisdom and courage provide great benefit when we learn from them.
Learning to let go even when our emotions are telling us something contrary, and learning to hang on when the appearance of letting go makes sense, are foundational components to demonstrating wisdom and courage.
Spiritual leaders today need to learn the potent combination of these two attributes.
How would we determine a true leader? One way was given by Douglas MacArthur, “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”
MacArthur is known for his leadership, a leadership that stands as exemplary when considering the U.S. Army’s influence in World War II.
Five words are found in this statement that have powerful direction to the leadership that should exist among God’s people today.
Confidence – We need confidence in who our God is and the power of His word to save souls.
Courage – Leaders must demonstrate courage in times when courage is needed most.
Compassion – This Christlike quality is one that should characterize spiritual leaders.
Equality – Although it is not always easy, a leaders’ actions must be consistent.
Integrity – Few areas are more important, and yet so difficult, than walking with integrity.
May we all determine to become a true leader with each of these qualities.
Harry Truman once said, ”Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”
Several thoughts could be noted here and rightfully so. The last line of this quote, however, deserves our attention.
Leaders have come and gone. We could all list leaders who are remembered for the negative and destructive nature of their leadership. We could also list others who are remembered for the good and lasting nature.
Think of a more current and practical approach to leaders and ask, “What about you and me?”
How will our leadership influence be remembered in the church and community where we live and serve?
Will we be remembered because of the change we made for the better?
Will our leadership have an impact for the eternal good of others?
If it seems as though the world stands still around us, then maybe it is time we stood up to lead. Seize the opportunity to change things for the better. Lead as God would have us to do!
The concept of positive thinking is not new for anyone. Yet, we often fail to practice such in our daily lives, whether at work or home. Developing the mind of leadership requires us to consider the influence of our attitude on everyone around us.
Recently, I read the following statement by Leah LaBelle, “Work hard for what you want because it won’t come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.”
Sadly, at some point we will deal with those who are critical and negative. They look for ways to put others down or criticize. We could spend several posts to discuss why, but that is not the point.
We must remember to utilize our strength and courage to believe in ourselves and use negativity or criticism in a way that becomes positive in an effort to achieve our plans.
This characterizes the power of our leadership.
More can be written on courage than we have space for in this post, but we should consider that courage is more than an attribute. Courage is a choice made in the moment it is needed.
We could talk about areas that create fear and the affects of that fear. We could also examine a number of ways to overcome fear. Some favorites: acknowledge what we are afraid of, and face our fears.
We know the need exists to demonstrate healthy fear when danger can inflict harm to ourselves and others.
What really enables us to overcome the battles and storms of life that seem to intimidate and discourage us? What empowers us to overcome the insecurities, doubt, and distractions that prevent the choice of courage?
We must fight the battles and endure the storms that come our way in life. Through it all, one powerful thought is needed for leaders. God is with us and He is for us. Read Romans 8:31-39.
“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” Douglas MacArthur
Three words stand out in the first thought expressed by MacArthur: confidence, courage, and compassion. Each of these qualities are a vital part of developing the type of leaders needed within the church.
The last thought expressed is the one most powerful in establishing true spiritual leadership. One word stands out concerning the thought of aligning one’s actions with intent: integrity.
If leaders today will demonstrate the type of qualities identified and the integrity to stand behind those qualities, their leadership will always stand strong and point others to the God who brought them to this position.
Few areas of leadership take greater priority than developing the type of character that possesses and demonstrates the integrity behind these qualities.