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.
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!
“Before you quit, try. Before you talk, listen. Before you react, think. Before you criticize, wait. Before you move on, forgive.” Author Unknown
Although the originator is unknown, these five suggestions are powerful, each in their own right.
How often do we quit before we really try? The going gets tougher than anticipated and we think it is easier to quit, but is it really?
How often do we find ourselves dominating the conversation without really listening? Generally, others just need someone to listen to them, but do we?
How often do we react, only to think later that we should have given it a little more thought? The challenge is learning to act appropriately instead of reacting, but we need to think first.
How often do we jump to conclusions and criticize someone else for their actions before waiting to understand why they acted this way?
How often do we move on, but carry a grudge without reconciling the relationship?
Much more could be said, but suffice it to say that when we follow each of these suggestions, our lives become richer.