“Leaders, Have You Done Your Duty and Your Delight Today?”
The Training Table is set for Christians who are committed to “running the good race” (1 Corinthians 9:26; 2 Timothy 4:7) and need a regular diet of great-for-the-heart, spirit, and living life… reformation, revival, and constructive revolution:
Reformation… we seek to abide by and serve up the true truth of the Bible.
Revival… we seek to model biblical Christians living in word and deed.
Constructive Revolution… we seek to spread the true gospel right where God has planted us with urgency, compassion, and radical self-abandonment.
This week’s menu is simple, compact, and yet very challenging to execute—because of all the distractions and misunderstanding about what any leader’s main responsibility consists of: The execution of the Vision and Mission.
The balance of the fare for today chiefly consists of leadership quotes that I hope will help all of us slow down, be refreshed about what LEADERSHIP really consists of, and re-set our sights about the positive influence we can have in the realms of being Christian leaders running the good race.
“A leader’s responsibility is to cause a vision and mission to have tangible results in the real world.” (Henry Cloud)
Think about the issue this way, “70% of CEO’s are relieved of their duties due to the lack of execution of the vision.” (“Why CEO’s Fail”, Ram Charan, Fortune Magazine, June 1991)
Put in terms of the above Feast of the Heart Mission Statement (borrowed from Francis Schaeffer), Christians running the good race should always be looking after their a, b, c’s, a) attentive to the True Truth of the Bible, b) modeling Christ in word and deed, and c) ready at all times (RE: at all times) to spread the Good News!
“Effective, enduring and memorable leaders set a vision and use their authority to create an environment where people can contribute to the vision’s success and flourish doing so. Leaders are environmentalists.” (John Gardner)
The Heart of Leadership is a Matter of the Heart
Leadership… of any kind, in any place, in any culture, leading any sort or amount of people doing anything of any sort, will under-achieve or fail completely at discovering and executing the ORGANIZATIONAL vision to the degree he or she has been successful at discovering and executing the PERSONAL vision for their life.
How many of us have done the hard work to create our own PERSONAL Vision, Mission, and Core Values? If absent in our personal lives, leaders will not have the emotional intelligence (and other key factors) to do it ORGANIZATIONALLY.
“In a very real sense there is no such thing as organizational behavior. There is only individual behavior (that of leadership). Everything else flows out of that.” (Stephen Covey, A Personal Note, Principled-Centered Leadership)
“Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy.” (Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf)
“Leaders do not invent or manufacture motivation. They unlock what is there, awaken what is dormant, and tap hidden reserves. It is one of the tasks of leaders to ensure the continuous renewal of the systems over which they preside. The release of human possibilities is one of the most basic of social objectives and leadership goals.” (John Gardner)
“Defining the basic vision and purpose of any organization is very difficult, painful and risky. But it alone… enables an organization to set objectives, to develop strategies, to concentrate its resources, and to go to work everyday. It alone… enables an organization to be managed for performance.” (Peter Drucker, The Essential Drucker, Harper Business Publishing)
“Optimal performance rests on the existence of a powerful shared vision that evolves through wide participation to which the key leader contributes, but which the use of authority cannot shape… The test of greatness of a dream is that it has the energy to lift people out of their moribund ways to a level of being and relating from which the future can be faced with more hope than most of us can summon today.” (Robert Greenleaf, Leadership Crisis)
Christian, as you are running the good race, please begin each day by reminding yourself of your leadership responsibilities—encompassed in, and as one example, REFORMATION, REVIVAL, and CONSTRUCTIVE REVOLUTION.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2: 1-4).
May God richly bless every act of leadership you humbly yet boldly exhibit “TODAY…” (Psalm 95:7-8),