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?


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