In the previous post I started talking about leading yourself well. I am convinced it is one of the biggest challenges we face on our leadership journey. Too often we focus on the end game, the leading of something epic, forgetting that how we lead ourselves will probably play a determining role in whether we actually attain such lofty aspirations.
You may not have the desire to be a great leader but you should have the desire to be a better one. Otherwise, what are you doing? The moment we stop improving is the moment our leadership stagnates and we begin to lose our influence.
Leading well every day starts with you.
Life is a challenge. Maybe we could go as far to say how life is one long test. Things go well, things don’t go so well. We enjoy good days and other days. At the time of writing this we are continuing with a lockdown due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. So, life is definitely a challenge.
In life we will make mistakes. I have made some mistakes which have had little or no impact on me, while others have had the potential to cause major consequences. You just don't know sometimes. This is why leading yourself well is inescapable. One of the focuses then becomes about protection.
Protecting your future.
Protecting your God-given future.
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse"-- my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths [Proverbs 1:10-15]
You cannot go through life doing nothing or not taking any risks. Leadership involves both. There are things that we can do thought which will help to safeguard our leadership. These verses in Proverbs are a strange portion of scripture but they have helped me in the creation of some non-negotiables for how I do life, how I can lead myself well, how I can make good decisions and how I walk well with God in the every day.
Here are 5 things you can draw from these verses, which will help you lead well in the every day.
Do not consent.
NO can be seen as weakness. In a time where the idea of truth is relative, in that truth is based on the personal circumstances of the individual, set by their own frame of reference, saying NO can be difficult.
Leading well means learning what to say NO to. We have to stay strong. There are some things which we should just not agree to. As Christian leaders our frame of reference is not our own personal one, but instead comes through the Word of God and our relationship with Jesus.
Be alert to ambush.
Keep an eye out for what’s going on around you. Improve your awareness of what's happening in the world and in your world. To be alert is to be vigilant, it is to be quick to notice any unusual and potentially dangerous or difficult circumstances.
Call them boundaries, guardrails, whatever. Put some in place, as they will keep you from getting caught out. Plus they help you in knowing what to say NO to in the future too.
Stay away from the place of danger.
We all have a past. We all have habits. We all have temptations too.
Take away the danger by taking yourself away from the place of danger. Don’t get involved or go to those places where the temptation may be too strong. It's too easy to justify our behaviour sometimes but ultimately it only hurts us. Plus our behaviours demonstrate to others how good we are at leading ourselves.
The crowd is not always right.
The pull of the crowd in very enticing. It's proven to be very persuasive in how we think and how we respond in certain circumstances. When the group says 'yes', it becomes easier to just go along with it and say 'yes' too.
Some may consider this to be the message of the world but we are not meant to just go with the way of the world. It doesn't matter if everyone else is doing it or even that society says it's ok. Do what is right because it is the right thing to do.
Hold back when appropriate.
Fools rush in! To lead yourself well then let me encourage you, before making the move, before deciding, before acting, take a moment. Don't allow your emotions in the moment to get the better of you. Pause. Reflect. Look. Really look. It can be difficult but learn to wait for Gods lead.
Years ago someone prompted me with my finances to always ask a couple of questions - do I really need this? If I didn't spend the money on this what could it be used for? They have taught me to pause, to not be in such a hurry, and to wait. One more minute, hour, day, probably won't harm any decision. Learn to hold back, it could just save your leadership.
What would you say are the challenges to living with these thoughts in mind?