Would You Hire Him?

Ken Collier wrote, “The primary quality of a godly leader is that he follows Someone who is stronger than he is, wiser than he is, more discerning than he is, and more in control of circumstances than he is. A godly leader, whether a parent, teacher, supervisor, deacon, business leader, or student body officer, excels at following Someone to a greater degree than others around him do. How unlike this pattern is from the modern view of a leader as one who is great because he chooses a direction and consults only himself and his own resources!”

One problem people often have with thinking about Jesus as a role-model, is that they don’t think of him as being a leader. Teacher? Yes. Savior? Sure. Healer? You bet. But we have this timid view of Jesus that just isn’t based on the Bible, it’s based on a history of flannel-graphs and bedtime stories.

Think about the challenges Jesus dealt with:

  • Building a team from scratch, who had no relevant skills or training
  • Establishing a sense of purpose and mission
  • Working with imperfect people
  • Dealing with conflicts of time, energy and resources
  • Fierce competition
  • Turnover and betrayal
  • Reluctant customers
  • Handling of criticism, rejection, distraction and opposition
  • Pain and suffering

Jesus taught his followers that leadership, at the heart, is an act of service. It’s not about gaining power, it’s about relinquishing it. He literally turns the popular view of leadership upside down and inside-out, and tosses thousands of pages of literature about leadership out the window.

Dealing with Worry? Hope, Hope, Hurray!

In my last post I talked about the need to have faith to get through the challenges in life.  Worries and fear are inevitable, but how we deal with them is entirely up to us.

Using the 1 Corinthians 13 model, I am proposing an age-old solution for getting through the rough spots.  After you have faith, the next item in the recipe is hope.  In the Old Testament, Jeremiah was faced with some pretty tough times.  How did he survive?  He turned his eyes on God, he kept the faith, and he held fast to hope.  He wrote “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him”.

Hope is a wonderful tool.  Hope springs eternal, we say.  Hope is all about having an optimistic attitude.  You don’t have to be a Christian to have hope.  We can all hope for a better job, a better lifestyle, or for even that perfect someone to come along.

When we’re facing tough times, faith is the first thing you need.  You need to find something to believe in.  That’s your rock.  That’s what you hold on to.  But once you have that established, you need to turn your thoughts to the future.

Imagine a better place, a better way, a better job.  Having hope is all about picturing yourself where you want to be, not where you are.

If you do this, you’ll find yourself thinking about yourself in that situation.  In this way you are positioning yourself in your mind for that better situation.  It’s a great way to get your mindset right for that new job or opportunity. 

So, have a little faith, and then hope, hope hurray.

Motivating for Change

If leaders implementing change recognize these factors, they are far more likely to not only succeed, but have a highly motivated workforce behind them to make it happen.

Over the past two decades, I’ve seen my share of change.  Change is certainly seen in the technologies we use and build.  But also I’ve seen change in the structure and styles of running business and leading teams.  Through all of the change, I have discovered five critical success factors for maintaining a highly motivated workforce, even those facing radical change.  In each case of a failed change effort, I can point to one or more factors which were either not considered or not carried out.  The five factors are as follows:
  •             Communications in every direction:  Up, down and sideways
  •             Honor the past, many aren’t ready to change and take it personally
  •             Give employees a chance to succeed (avoid no-win situations)
  •             Make every employee’s job valuable, no one wants to be seen as “overhead”
  •             Reward employees who embrace change

If leaders implementing change recognize these factors, they are far more likely to not only succeed, but have a highly motivated workforce behind them to make it happen.

Taking Credit or getting things done

“It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”

I don’t know who is responsible for this quote.  Some say Abraham Lincoln, others refer to a similar quote made by Ronald Reagan, and still others attribute it to some guy named “anonymous”.

This quote was brought to my attention this week when some very dear friends took time to honor me for work I had done with Boy Scouts.  When I look back on the good things I’ve accomplished in life, this statement does ring true.  I’ve accomplished most when I focused on the goal and not worried about what I would profit in the end. 

Unfortunately, more and more I find the primary motivator for people is just the opposite.  I’ve certainly seen it exhibited by many in all walks of life.  Here’s to those who don’t operate that way.