curious leadership

EmPulse for Week of December 7, 2009

Leadership in times of stability, predictability, and prosperity is a lot of fun. But that is not when leadership is most critical. It is most critical when times are unstable, uncertain, and people are facing the loss of their livelihoods and homes— like in wartime, or in a depression, or, now.

It is in times like these that men need to become men of honor, whether we feel like it or not. It’s called rising to the occasion, doing what’s right, taking on the mantle, etc. Most of us find it easier to cast blame than to create a solution. Women, likewise, need to stand up and become involved in LIFE. Not just business, not just child raising (which men must take on just as whole heartedly), but the deeper issues and fabric of life. Women lead with a perspective that men cannot fathom; we are fools to proceed without their take on life’s issues.

To lead in dismantled times we need a certain mix of curious ingredients or our strength will grind to powder under the churning. Here’s my list of what great leadership will need in uneasy times.

  1. Time to ponder—If we are caught up in too many daily issues and decisions we lose perspective on critical issues. Leaders need perspective; and that means time alone to think, to wonder, and to strategize a course of action.
  2. Trusted followers—We need people to whom we can delegate responsibility (along with commensurate authority) of important tasks. Then walk away from them, trusting those tasks to honorable hands.
  3. A rock-solid core—Know who you are. Be certain of it. If you’re not sure, then your leadership will falter.
  4. A true friend—Some people I know do not have one person they can count on no matter what. How do they ever make it through life!?! Find someone to trust and trust them unreservedly.
  5. Forgiveness—Be able to genuinely forgive those who’ve betrayed or wronged you. You cannot move beyond it if you don’t. Don’t let resentment devour your heart.
  6. Be quick to say you are wrong—If you are right all the time something must be wrong. You get the point.
  7. Consultants—Yes, consultants. Def.- People smarter than yourself who are not in your shoes. Surround yourself with them! You need some people who will tell you the truth.
  8. A higher risk-level—It’s rough being the one to make the tough calls. New commitments, people to be let go, compromises, expenditures on the uncertain. Yeah, that’s what leadership does. Get used to it.
  9. A deep, quiet, secret life of prayer—If you’re doing any of this without God then you are amazing! You are not alone, though; many Christians do amazing things without God. I wonder what it might be like if we both trusted God more for the truly difficult decisions in life? Spending more time with God, alone, isn’t going to do any damage.
  10. Ask yourself one question at the end of the day—“What did I do today that truly made a difference?” The more days you can look back and see the great things you have accomplished, the more assurance you will have that your leadership is needed in this world. Keep it up.

Please feel free to add to this list… .

Have a nice week.

Gary

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