Generally speaking, leadership involves changing others. From a spiritual perspective, the purpose of our leadership is to change others, right?
However, change must first begin within ourselves. It is easy to ask others to do what we are either unwilling to do or have not done yet.
The power of change starts with us. When we make changes in our own lives first, we set an example for others to see why they must change also.
As leaders in our homes, communities, and the church, let us first work on changing ourselves and then seek opportunity to help others change.
What is the best book you have read in the last six months, apart from the Bible? Admittedly, sitting down to read a book is not always a favorite task.
There are several benefits to our leadership when reading.
We expose ourselves to the experience and wisdom of others.
We learn a number of new possibilities.
We expand our understanding in a variety of subjects.
We maintain a fresh perspective.
We develop an ability to think more widely.
We communicate in more well informed ways.
We need to challenge ourselves to improve who we are as leaders. Read more!
Life is filled with events. These events can be good or bad. The perspective of one person toward an event may not be the same as another person facing a similar event. The difference is often affiliated with someone’s attitude and worldview.
Robert Tew said, “It doesn’t matter what happens to you. What matters is, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to complain and shrink or are you going to step into your greatness?”
As he expresses, what happens is not the issue, but what we do about it generally defines who we are as leaders.
One choice is easy: complain and shrink. However, the results hinder our influence and the development of leadership character.
The option of stepping into leadership motivates us to see beyond the present and consider the power of changing lives: ours and those who follow.
When various events enter our daily walk through life, let us consider how the choices we make impact our own leadership development and that of others.
Studies in the area of culture reveal numerous facts important to the direction of leading. While culture is a relative term, we do know that culture is connected to cultivating, gardening.
However, culture is defined as the beliefs, customs, arts, etc. of a particular society, group of people, time and place. Culture is characterized by a way of thinking, belief, or behavior.
We can say that culture is an environment cultivated by the people who participate in that environment.
Our world is a multi-cultural place. Also, we find numerous cultures within cultures. There are work cultures, educational cultures, religious cultures, age and gender specific cultures, and the list is unending.
Leaders work to understand the culture, but changing the culture is far from easy, if not impossible. The idea has been presented that leaders must create new cultures to draw people into a new way of thinking, believing, or behaving.
There is validity to the idea and Jesus followed this approach to the first century culture, leaving us to consider how we will lead in the twenty-first century culture.
“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.” Author Unknown
The reality of bad things happening is inevitable. No one is immune from the negative, discouraging, or “bad” that occurs, even if we simply chalk-it-up to perspective.
However, regardless of one’s perspective, the choice of what is done when these events happen is what makes the difference in our lives.
If difficulties define us, we tend to only focus on the drudgery of life and the poor hand we have been dealt, thus “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 who face the same challenges and we are better equipped for the next difficulty that may come our way.
We should not seek difficulties, but if they come, let us use them as an opportunity to better prepare ourselves to lead.
A recently search on leadership produced a list of quotes from Zig Ziglar identified as “Quotes that can Change Your Life.” Naturally, I was intrigued, so I spent a few moments to consider a few of these powerful and life-changing thoughts.
One specific statement that grabbed my attention was important enough to share: “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” Zig Ziglar
Consider how many times we’ve heard people refer to themselves or someone else as a failure. Because they did not succeed at a specific task, get a promotion, or achieve a desired grade, they did not see the event as a failure, but themselves.
Sadly, we tend to carry this mentality over to the way we view other people. When others do not live up to “our” expectations or desires, we see them as a failure. Even worse is the fact that the way we see others often affects the way others see themselves.
Quality leaders learn from the events (failures) in life and build their own character, or the character of someone else, to ultimately succeed.
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To endure carries a depth of meaning on several levels. To endure also has a great deal of meaning from a Biblical standpoint. Not only are we commanded to endure, God also encourages us with the benefits that come eternally to those who endure.
From a leadership perspective, it can be challenging to endure. To endure literally involves bearing up under the load. It is far deeper than being patient.
While we are to be patient in all things, to endure takes us to a level that challenges our ability to hold on, and hold on longer than we can imagine.
A couple of thoughts might help us endure when the road presents these challenges.
One, remember the adage; “if God brings us to it, He will see us through it.”
Two, God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear (1 Co. 10:13).
Three, we must not forget, no matter how difficult, these challenges are only temporary.
With some perspective we can endure, especially when we know our God is in control.
Numerous courses and books on leadership point to understanding leadership development as a lifelong process. Among the ideas expressed several are worth considering, such as the following:
Leadership is developed over time. Becoming a leader is not accomplished by simply taking a course or reading a book. God works throughout our lifetime to train us and give us the experience needed to develop our leadership.
Developing a leader can involve periods of suffering. Voluntary and involuntary events occur throughout life that cause us to step back and reflect on who and where we are in relationship to God and others. These times may involve isolation used to help us reflect and prepare us for greater leadership.
Proper perspective is the goal of leadership development. As challenging as periods of suffering can be, they help us better understand God and His guidance, if our perspective is one that sees God’s hand in the events of our life.
If we can learn to trust in God’s working, we can grow into the masterpiece He makes of us. Consider Paul’s thought on the workmanship of God (Ephesians 2:10).
All leaders face problems. These problems come in small or large sizes. They often present themselves through the most difficult and negative of people and at the most inopportune time.
I am sure we’ve all known of individuals unwilling to accept a leadership role because they did not want to deal with problems. They did not want to deal with the frustration of complaining, complacency, and a general lack of cooperation.
Problems are not new, but how we deal with them makes a major difference. James Merritt writes about the necessity of patience in leadership. He said, “Problems are not meant to defeat you, depress you, or discourage you. God meant them to develop you.”
If we possessed a more developmental mindset toward problems, we would probably experience an entirely different attitude when they occur.
When problems occur, regardless of the source of the problem, we have an opportunity to evaluate our approach.
The demonstration of patience in these moments may just give us an opportunity to experience divine development. Now that will give us a new perspective on problems.