Competent leaders deserve and should insist on loyalty and commitment from their team. Read Luke 14:25-35.
During His three years of public ministry Jesus gave Himself wholly to His assignment from God and to His team. He demonstrated His ability, commitment, resourcefulness and intelligence in private settings, to the masses, and to the political and religious leaders of His day. Jesus’ example tended to drive the uncommitted away but attracted the committed. His passion to honor God and His competence in carrying out His assignment gained the trust, respect, loyalty and commitment of His team. Jesus never hesitated to tell His followers to count the costs of following Him because He wanted their all or nothing.
Wise leaders know that before demanding high levels of commitment, they must demonstrate a level of competence. Competence is required to gain the trust and respect of their team. John Maxwell discusses competence in a note in The Maxwell Leadership Bible:
Competence goes beyond words. It’s the leader’s ability to say it, plan it, and do it in such a way that others know you know your business – and know that they want to follow you. Competence must be sought at every organizational level. Incompetence can be tolerated nowhere, John Gardner once wrote, “The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”
Once a leader has demonstrated competence they must identify what it is within their organization that is worthy of their team’s commitment. I personally have found that rather than asking the question, “How do we get commitment?” it is better to ask, “To what or to whom are we committed?” No matter how competent the leader, until their team understands what they are doing that is worthy of commitment it will feel shallow to the team to be asked for commitment. For the Christian leader, when their organization’s goals and outcomes are properly related to God and the organization’s activities honor Him, commitment will make sense to the team.
Jesus said that His team’s love for Him needed to be so great that all other human relationships would pale by comparison. While it is true that only Jesus would qualify for that kind of devotion, leaders can learn from Jesus’ example and should not hesitate to ask their team to count the costs of being on the team so they can chose to get on board or leave for a cause and leader they can commit to wholeheartedly.
Job 11:13-15 “Yet if you devote your heart to Him and stretch out your hands to Him, If you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.”
Every leader will face times when those around them will not accept their leadership and their only option is to move on. Read Matthew 13:53-58.
When, in the course of His public ministry, Jesus went to His hometown and preached in the synagogue the people were first amazed that someone from their hometown had such wisdom but soon their familiarity with His growing up years and His family that still lived in that area undermined their excitement about His words. They refused to see Him as anything but a carpenter’s son. When this conflict arose, Jesus assessed the situation, recognized that the opposition had their mind made up and would not be convinced, and He moved on to a place where His message was more effective.
When leaders understand their own identity they can resolve the issues related to arrogance, humility and service to others. Read Matthew 11:28-30.
As Jesus was instructing His disciples and others He talked about the topic of those who are weary, and needing rest. One of the great problems among leaders today is burnout. They take vacations and even sabbaticals but return from their time away from their job as weary as when they left. During their time off leaders don’t find their inner-rest because they simply change areas of activity. They don’t wrestle down the issue of who they are and why they were created or why they do what they do. Jesus was secure in who He was and His mission. He could be gentle, humble and even offer rest for weary souls who came to learn from Him because He was secure in His identity and His purpose for life on earth.
Emotionally healthy leaders do not expect others to meet the need only God can meet. Read Matthew 2:1-18.
Herod the Great was the Roman Empire’s king of the client state Israel. He had heard prophecies all his life concerning the birth of a Jewish Messiah; the man that would become the “King of the Jews.” The insecurity of King Herod peaked when he heard of Jesus’ birth. Prophecies had foretold the time and place of the birth of the King of the Jews but when it appeared prophecy was being fulfilled, Herod became impatient, angry, self-consumed, and disturbed – all signs of an insecure leader. In a desperate attempt to protect his kingship and legacy, Herod had all the Jewish male children under a certain age put to death to ensure the Jewish Messiah would not live to take his throne.
The difference between leaders and followers is perspective. Read Habakkuk 3:1-19.
In chapter 1, Habakkuk had one perspective – he saw evil in Judah perpetrated on the defenseless people by corrupt leaders and a silent God. Following his prayer and interaction with God he had quite a different perspective. By the end of chapter 3 he is able to express total trust in God in every situation. Once his perspective changed he went from a doubting prophet to a leader who spoke truth to the people in Judah, Babylon and to leaders around the world today.
Tags: Comparative importance, Corrupt Leaders, Defenseless people, Doubting prophet, Managing Perspective, Measured assessment, Perspective, Seek God's perspective, Shaping a leader's opinions, Silent God