Thoughts on Leadership


We love the word.  Everyone wants to be called a leader.  It just sounds good, doesn’t it?!  But how often do we count the costs that inevitably accompany leadership roles?  I must say I’ve certainly been paying more attention, recently.  Let’s face it.  Leadership is challenging.

Last week I was in a position where I was “forced” to listen to and/or watch the news for 8 hours out of each day.  Yes, forced (not physically forced, just in a room where the news was going all day forced)!  And YES, that’s a lot of news!

Hot topics last week included continued coverage of the, now, epic BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Israeli interception of a flotilla headed for the heavily guarded Gaza Strip.  Each of these stories involves several leaders, but the notables are as follows:

The BP story:  BP CEO, Tony Hayward (L) and United States President, Barak Obama (R)

Israeli flotilla raid:  Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu (pronounced net-an-yahoo) (below)

The one thing that quickly grabbed my attention was the shower of criticism raining down on the leaders connected to each of these stories.  Tony Hayward was criticized for a sincere, yet drastically untimely and insensitive slip of the tongue.  He said what he felt, but he probably should have used his inside voice.  President Obama was criticized for not kicking enough corporate hind parts and taking enough names and, in general, not urgently spewing enough venom in his response to the tragic oil spill.  Then Netanyahu was criticized by most of the world (literally) for what he felt was defending his country from what he called “a hate boat”.

Whew….  All of this really got me thinking…

Actually, it got me re-thinking leadership.  I can’t lie.  For a long time I’ve slowly moved with a fake limp toward the leadership role I know is inevitable.  Listening to the relentless media coverage of these stories was enough to make me seriously consider pretending not to hear the Lord’s call and cowering somewhere in a nearby corner, instead.

Oh how I greatly enjoy sharing my life experiences and lessons from heaven with other women, but I am so not interested in the monumental weight of judgment that is heaped upon anyone in any kind of leadership position.  Knowing that failures, mis-steps, and mishaps are an inevitable part of the journey AND that they will be subject to the scrutiny of others sometimes makes me want to politely say to the Lord, “I’ll pass, but thanks for asking!”  LOL!

Then the Spirit of the Lord gently redirected my attention to some of the great leaders from His word – men and women who, filled with humility, courageously endured intense scrutiny and continued to lead amidst their own leadership faux pas, critical character flaws, sinful indiscretions and just plain human imperfections.  God’s plan for their lives was never thwarted, and they were used to accomplish great exploits for His Kingdom.

I realized it’s up to me to come to terms with these basic truths:

Someone will always disagree with me.

My decisions will never please everyone.

My words won’t always be timely for everyone.

Someone won’t appreciate my style.

Someone who supports me today, may not tomorrow.

And more importantly….

I will make mistakes.

Sometimes I won’t think before I speak (prayerfully not very often; Help me Jesus!).

I won’t always make the right decision.

As much as I want to, I just won’t get it all right.

At the end of the day, though, I hope this quote reflects who I will be for the Kingdom of God:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

I rounded out my week drawing encouragement from the accounts of those imperfect leaders who God trusted with so much and loved so dearly.  David killed Goliath yet struggled to overcome his own flesh (sound familiar).  And Joseph….my dear dreamer traversed quite a few obstacles before reporting for duty in the position to which God had assigned him.


So I tip my hat to the countless leaders of the world.  I realize they don’t all draw strength and guidance from my God, but if any of them can do it without Him, I know I can do it with Him.  And so can you….  I know you’re a leader!  God has called you to accomplish great and mighty things for His Kingdom, and you can do it through His strength.  Critics?  Forget about ’em!  Your personal flaws are there to remind you of your human-ness so that you never stop relying on His God-ness.  Still not convinced?  Check out Philippians 4:13.

Till next time…

P.S.  I almost forgot.  🙂  Who’s your favorite biblical leader and why?


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen
    Jun 09, 2010 @ 06:39:22

    Great post….I love how you worded this…

    “For a long time I’ve slowly moved with a fake limp toward the leadership role I know is inevitable.”….is that not the truth or what?

    I suppose David is my favorite Biblical leader….I love his passion for the Lord….and his example for accepting forgiveness from God and moving on with his life….the picture in my mind of him dancing with all his might for the Lord…..not caring what others thought….always thrills and inspires me…..


    • Monica P. Watkins
      Jun 09, 2010 @ 07:03:43

      I’m with you. David is my fave, too. I remember when the Lord used him to teach me that I can come to him with all of my thoughts and feelings, no matter what they are. Thank you, so much, for stopping by. I’ve signed up to follow you, but I can’t for the life of me get a profile pic small enough to upload! LOL… Have a blessed week, and I hope to chat with you again soon.


  2. LaVonne
    Jun 09, 2010 @ 08:18:42

    I too believe that we are to pray for our leaders, and leadership is much harder than it seems. It is very easy to follow and complain, because there is no accountability or authority, but leadership has both. There are so many awesome leaders in the Bible: King David (always helped those who were not able to help themselves), Daniel (remained humble and respectful of leadership, even when the goal was to kill him), and Gideon (chose to follow God every step in the face of impossible odds, but it is Mary Magdalene I most admire. Once she was touched by Jesus her life changed, brought real love into her life. That love caused her to be much like Joshua. She stuck with Jesus through the tough times, through His death, and was first to the tomb when everyone else had moved on. True leaders have hope, faith, and love; and they BELIEVE that God is and God will.


    • Monica P. Watkins
      Jun 09, 2010 @ 21:27:51

      Wow…. I’m so blessed by your comment. There are so many examples of leadership in the Word until it made me nervous to try to pull names. I especially enjoyed your reminder about Mary Magdalene. Beautiful…. I was reading Acts this morning, and I thought to myself, “Oh you can’t forget about Paul!!” Oh how he was transformed. Thank you so much for your comment. Reading your words inspired me to continue looking towards the examples of great leadership given to us in the Word.


  3. Marcia
    Jun 09, 2010 @ 21:24:50

    Great post Sis! I can’t begin to name my favorite leader in the bible. I think back to Moses who dealt with the Israelites for 50 million years (or was it just 40 years??? I bet it felt like 50 million to Moses LOL). I mean he had to deal with their disgruntled attitudes among other things. But he kept it moving and HE is the epitome of having the “fake limp”. How many excuses did Moses come up with??

    But I think one of my favorites – and I love the fact that she is a female – is Esther. “For such a time as this…..” When I think of her character and the things she did to save her people and her humble response “.. And if I perish, I perish”. Talk about taking one for the team! Goodness.. What grace and dignity she exuded. And the beautiful and most interesting thing about her story is that God is never mentioned once in her book – but we know she serves Him JUST by her actions.. Hmm hmm hmm… go on Esther!

    Thanks again for gentle reminder that if God calls us He equips us. And if HE is for us.. who can be against us??! It’s time to walk in that calling of leadership on our lives and live the life that He designs and expects us to live!


    • Monica P. Watkins
      Jun 10, 2010 @ 21:07:00

      I tell ya…. The comments on this post have to be my favorite of any post I’ve written so far. They’ve all been so encouraging, and it’s pretty neat to see how different leaders come to mind for different people and for different reasons. Each person seems to have an aspect that speaks to them. God is good! Thank you so much for sharing your comment! Truly a blessing!


  4. Lisa
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 12:30:35

    With Proverbs being my all-time favorite book of the Bible, I have to say King Soloman always sticks out to me as the ultimate leader. Even in his flaws, multiple wives for political gain, and extremely high taxation, his character intrigues me. He wasn’t necessarily a diplomat, but definitely an economist, a strategist and the wisest of all kings. He stood by his decisions and I appreciate that in him. Thanks for this post Monica…it really got me to thinking. Oh and I LOVE Moses too….anyone who can keep their eye on the prize in the midst of the mob, is alright in my book.


    • Monica P. Watkins
      Jun 13, 2010 @ 23:40:30

      Wow! I tell you! You all are teaching me so much, providing so much incite into the leaders in God’s word. It really encourages me that perfection is not what I need to serve Him, just a willing and submitted heart. Thank you, Lisa!


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  6. Alisa Hope Wagner
    Jun 14, 2010 @ 12:53:24

    I definitely needed to read this post today! Thank you for sharing these insights on leadership.


    • Monica P. Watkins
      Jun 14, 2010 @ 21:27:27

      I tell ya…I’m certainly learning a lot about leadership, and I am just getting started. My prayer is that I never think I can do it on my own.


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