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.
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Today’s lesson is from Psalms 113-115. These psalms are about praising God. The first declares that God’s people should praise Him. The second asserts that even creation, His world, fears Him. The last one we looked at, declares that there is none like Him! If you enjoy the lesson, tell others about our program and check out searchinggodsword.org.
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Few areas are more challenging than to consider what happens when leadership fails. The main reason is because it is accompanied by a loss of trust and respect.
The task before leaders is learning what to do to regain trust and respect when it has been lost.
We begin with considering three negatives: 1) do not try to ignore or deny the failure, 2) do not attempt to cover the failure up, and 3) never blame someone else for the failure (this only worsens the situation).
Instead, there are four positives needed: 1) admit the failure (chances are the followers already know about the failure), 2) be specific about the failure (a general statement does not speak to an understanding and consequence of the failure), 3) ask for forgiveness (saying this is essential to regaining trust and respect is an understatement), and 4) give a step by step plan for overcoming the failure (it is one thing to express the failure, but another to know how to deal with and overcome the failure).
Additional areas could be considered, but a simple upfront approach is where the healing begins.
David’s leadership exemplifies a number of great qualities. We should appreciate how God recorded the good in David and his character flaws. David will forever be remembered for his indiscretion with Bathsheba, adultery coupled with murder.
We do not want to make light of, nor ignore what is recorded about David. We should also remember he was a man after God’s own heart.
We could spend weeks with various articles, but we simply want to examine one area of David’s leadership: his respect for God’s will.
Even though David could have taken Saul’s life, and perhaps rightfully so, he respected God’s appointment of Saul as king of Israel.
Even though David was paying for the consequences of his sin, he understood and respected God’s answer in loss of his son.
Even though David was prepared to build a temple to honor God, he respected God’s decision that the temple be built by Solomon.
David was a man of great faith and one of the Bible’s great leaders. One of the reasons his leadership was great is because he respected God’s will.
“Earn your leadership every day.” Michael Jordan
The thought expressed here is extremely important, yet leaves us with an important question to answer: How? How can we earn our leadership every day? While it is not an exhaustive list, here are a few ideas to consider.
1) Ensure your life is consistent with your leadership.
2) Take responsibility for every word, decision, and action.
3) Lead in the fullness of core values.
4) Align priorities with goals.
5) Know what is worth dying for, and then live for it.
6) Help others reach their potential…always!
7) Learn to be an active listener.
8) Show others there is more to life than just “being right.”
9) Demonstrate the value of respect for yourself and others.
10) Understand the difference between image and reputation.
If we can begin applying a few suggestions, then our leadership will have immeasurable benefits to others.
“The past is where you learned the lesson. The future is where you apply the lesson. Don’t give up in the middle.” Unknown
There are many reasons why the past is the best learning ground, but the primary reason is because experience teaches us what works and what doesn’t.
Based on the lessons learned, the wisdom gained directs the decisions, attitudes, and actions of our future. Here, we apply the lessons gained from past experiences.
The challenge is learning to never give up in between learning the lessons which are viewed in our past and recovering enough to make the proper application of those lessons in the future.
If we do, the difference between what has been and what will be is an incredible transition into a leadership that establishes credibility and deserves respect.
One last twist: when we learn lessons from the past experiences of others and make the right application in our lives for the future, we are demonstrating the wisdom of God’s intended purpose in the revealed word. Let us read to learn from the past, guide our steps in the future, and persevere until then.
Advancing the development of strong leadership is a task that cannot wait until a future date.
While several components are needed to advance this cause, the foundation begins with character.
Two primary areas of character are critical: trust and respect. In order to build these areas into our character, consider the following suggestions.
1) 10-10-10 Principle – In her book by the same title, Suzy Welch explores three questions: Can I live with this decision 10 minutes from now? 10 months from now? 10 years from now? Realizing the consequences should motivate us to think about the impact of decisions on our character.
2) Inventory Our Values – What has greater value: Character or money? Character or achievement? Character or popularity? Examine our actions over the past month. If there are inconsistencies, then work on them. Do not dismiss, excuse, deny, or rationalize them.
3) Challenge Hypocrisy – Nothing destroys character quicker than hypocrisy. On the job, at home, with our neighbors, in the community, and around other Christians, our character must reflect a consistent belief system.
These three areas are a few suggestions for building our character that establish trust and respect for stronger leadership.
Tax day is not one of those days that people look forward to, at least not in this country. The deadline of submitting the proper documentation and funds (if required) is not one that excites most of us.
The concept of paying taxes is nothing new. We read throughout scripture the idea of paying tax. As a matter of fact, Jesus is credited with saying “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt. 22:21).
Additionally, Paul instructed the church in Rome, “render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due” (Rom. 13:7).
While the primary focus of this post is not about paying tax, nor is it politically motivated, the idea represented here is important to leadership.
The idea is one of respect for those who are in positions of authority, with the ultimate respect for God’s authority.
Spiritually motivated, leaders who model this thought not only follow God’s instruction, but they also help others understand the need to do the same.
Instead of speaking against authority, let us model respect for it.
Another word used in the recent Forbes’ article concerning the expectations of leaders is “respect.” The article highlights the difference between recognition and respect; “The recognized leader appeals to the head where things are easily forgotten, while the respected leader captivates the heart – and the heart does not forget.”
Regardless of the environment or situation, people want leaders who respect and value each area they contribute to the achievement of organizational goals.
We understand the key role respect plays by leaders toward followers, but also regarding the need for leaders to gain respect. By their words, actions, decisions, follow-through, achievement, and numerous additional areas, leaders establish a foundation for gaining respect.
Few areas, however, gain respect more quickly than by showing respect for others. A couple of suggestions to accomplish this task include: 1) attention given to work accomplished, 2) time to build relationships, 3) accepting responsibility and giving accountability, 4) transparency, and 5) trust.
Leaders who strive to gain, earn, and achieve respect, lead with heart. They touch the lives of those who follow and change the power of teamwork in the growth of any organization.
The concept of leadership lends itself to numerous interpretations. One consistency, however, involves the nature of adding value to our leadership.
What kind of value is needed to enhance our ability to lead?
How can we add the greatest value to our leadership?
Why does adding value mark the difference in long-term development?
The value needed to enhance our ability to lead involves respect. Leaders need to respect themselves, but as importantly they need the respect of those who follow.
This value is added to our leadership over time and demonstrated by our integrity during critical decisions, which has the greatest impact on others.
The reason this value marks the difference in long-term development is because respect is elicited as a result of a leaders’ abilities and achievements.
While the emphasis on leadership does not end with these few ideas, the concept of adding value to leadership is essential to the long-term nature of helping others reach their potential.
Respect is one value that, when added to leadership, changes the emphasis of our leadership.