Leadership Promises - John C. Maxwell
"When good people run things, everyone is glad, but when the ruler is bad, everyone groans." Proverbs 29:2 (The Message)
Success is within the reach of just about everyone. But personal success without leadership ability brings only limited effectiveness. A person's impact is only a fraction of what it could be with good leadership. The higher you want to climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be. Whatever you will accomplish is restricted by your ability to lead others.
Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person's level of effectiveness. The lower a person's ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. The higher the leadership, the greater the effectiveness. Your leadership ability-for better or for worse-always determines your effectiveness and the potential impact of your organization. To reach the highest level of effectiveness, you have to raise the lid on your leadership ability. The good news is that you can-if you're willing to pay the price to change.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." Deuteronomy 6:5-7
"Then all who heard were amazed . . . But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ. Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him." Acts 9:21-23
"Yet I consider it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, . . . I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me." Philippians 2:25-30
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on his faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret-it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth." Psalm 37:3-9
Do you ever feel like you need a therapist? If so, then Psalm 37 is for you. David writes as a counselor, providing wise steps to take as you face crises and decisions. Whenever you feel the pressure of competition or the compulsion to perform, pause and remember the assurances in this passage. David brings eternal perspective and long-term vision that prevents mistakes in short-term decisions.
"And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor." 1 Corinthians 12:23
People who build successful teams never forget that every person's role is contributing to the bigger picture. One of the best examples of this involves Winston Churchill. During World War II when Britain was experiencing its darkest days, the country had a difficult time keeping men working in the coal mines. Many wanted to give up their dirty, thankless jobs in the dangerous mines to join the military service, which got much public praise and support. Yet without coal, the military and the people at home would be in trouble.
So Churchill faced thousands of coal miners one day and passionately told them of their importance to the war effort, how their role could make or break the goal of maintaining England's freedom. It's said that tears appeared in the eyes of those hardened men. And they returned to their unglamorous work with steely resolve. That's the kind of mindset it takes to build a team.
"Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth." Numbers 12:3
What words come to mind when you think of great leaders? It's doubtful that "meek" appears at the top of your list-yet that is the precise word God used to describe Moses.
Moses had reasons to be humble. He certainly wasn't a natural leader. Nothing in Scripture indicates he attracted or led anyone during the first eighty years of his life. So far as we know, his first attempt at exerting his influence to help the people resulted in the murder of an Egyptian and his flight from the country. The next forty years Moses spent in exile in the desert of Midian, a time so uneventful that Scripture sums it up in three verses (Exodus 2:21-23).
You don't have to be a "natural" to become a great leader; you simply need a heart for God and a teachable spirit. Most of the great leaders in Scripture were made, not born. Happily for us, God is still making them today. Could you be one?