I’m a pastor’s kid. One of the things that fascinated me when I was growing up was how dad cranked up a sermon or teaching every Sunday! Sometimes he even taught two to three times a week on different subjects. As a communicator, I thought I’d give sources for content for ‘platform communicators’ in the church context.
Organizations, and people in general, determine how good a service or product is based on other products or services of similar nature. Your claim to superiority may just be an admission that you recognize your competitor (in whatever form) as a threat. It is normal to check reviews for products or delivery in other areas in order to establish which is best. A problem comes in when we adopt this attitude when it comes to our spiritual life.
It is easy to subconsciously adopt the, “I may not be as good as God calls me to be, but at least I’m not as bad as… [fill in the blank]”. This is dangerous! God is never going to commend you for being better than someone else, but for being who He calls you to be. You will not be held accountable for what someone else didn’t do, but what you didn’t do! When it comes to God, how well you’ve done on your assignment will never be based on how someone else did on theirs! God’s expectations for you are exclusive! They cannot be transferred, superimposed or adopted to or from others.
Have you been assessing your walk or progress with assignments based on what others are doing? Your only standard is God and the assignment He’s given you! You’re not good based on what others are not doing but what you are doing in fulfilling what He’s called you to! Forget what everyone else is doing or not doing! The only standard you have is God! Instead, ask yourself:
“Am I fulfilling all that God has called me to?”
I was going through my computer and came across a video clip I used in training some leaders. This clip was from the movie “A Bugs Life”. Long story short, a locust tells the ant, “the first rule of leadership – everything is your fault!”. This reminded me of something Francis Chan said on a Backstage Leadership session I was on.
you lead by showing
One of the questions Francis was asked was, ‘what are some of the things a leader must NEVER delegate?’ His response:
A leader must never delegate taking responsibility or blame for things going wrong.
There is sometimes a temptation for the leader to ‘look good’. To always be right. To always have the answer or never make mistakes… To always know what to do… and the list goes on.
Some leaders think it is weakness to be wrong let alone to admit your hand in your organization’s failure. On the contrary, it takes courage for the leader to own his organization or team’s failure without shifting the blame. Leader, when things go wrong where is the first place you seek fault?
A lot of leaders miss out on opportunities to build their influence by not taking responsibility when things go wrong. How can you expect those you lead to take responsibility for their part in things going wrong if you don’t show them how?
The leadership that your team see from you is the leadership they’ll not only embrace, but practice and perpetuate! Take responsibility for things going wrong and when it is their turn they are more likely to do likewise. The reason your team may not be taking responsibility for things in their care going wrong could be that you’ve taught them not to.
There are times when I’ve led very badly by blaming my team, circumstance and other environmental factors for my failure to lead. Lately, I am being challenged to self-evaluation as a leader. Leadership that does not embrace humility can never have the courage to take responsibility for things going wrong.
- How have I contributed to the failure of someone or the team I lead?
- Does the reason for failure reveal a gap in training or systems?
- What can I learn from this as a leader?
- What lessons are there for us as a team / organization?
You know the days you’re running late and every traffic light is red? It it just so happens while you drive someone cuts in right in front of you! You’re tempted to tell the guy a ‘piece of your mind’… You get to the mall and it happens to be senior citizens’ discount day. Though you’re in a rush you wait to let the senior citizen go before you. The walker they’re using doesn’t help much.
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find myself thinking about what I could do. Perhaps reciprocate the middle finger salute I just received. Or, roll my window down and give the driver who cut me off a nasty tongue lash for a reprimand. Maybe trip the granny that is moving at one meter per hour, so I can be on my way. I don’t follow through, of course. It would be totally out of character. The fact that you think some things doesn’t warrant you to act on them.
The truth is I’m sometimes too quick to voice against injustices against me. Why is it easy for me to talk about how someone or a service provider mistreated me and I’m not so quick to speak up when I’m the perpetrator?! The golden rule explicitly states, ‘do to others what you’d like them do to you’. We twist the golden rule with our actions when we do to others what they’ve done to us but we don’t want them to do to us what they’ve just done to us.
Before I complain about how someone has cut me off in traffic, I should remember that I probably did the same to someone else at another time. Before I start contemplating tripping the granny I should consider the fact that on a day I wasn’t in a rush I was in the way for someone who was. Before I criticize the service provider I should consider how I can be a difficult client. Today I’m reminded that for the one finger I’m pointing there are three pointing back at me. Before I pass judgment I must remember that I am sometimes the guy who violates me. I should remember that I switch roles between the victim and perpetrator… This is a note to myself and anyone else like me; whatever you do don’t to trip that granny!
One of the things that should be priority in an organization is leading the leaders. Identifying and leading other leaders is one of the best ways of securing the future of your organisation. For leaders and organisations to be successful they have to raise other leaders. Training leaders is one of the most important priorities for leader.