Posts Tagged ‘Loyalty’
Even a negative example can teach leaders positive lessons. Read Luke 16:1-16.
As Jesus spoke with the crowd described in Luke 15:1-2, He told a perplexing story in chapter 16:1-13 that appeared at first glance to encourage dishonesty. Jesus’ real message is that Christian leaders should mimic the steward’s shrewdness, not his dishonesty. This story of the unrighteous manager teaches leaders lessons about shrewdness in business and a few subtle truths about leadership:
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.”
It takes great courage on the part of a leader to truly empower those on their team. Leaders that are honest with themselves inherently understand that some of the loyalty of individuals on their team will shift to the one empowered and some of the credit they had enjoyed will also be credited to their empowered teammate. Read 1 Samuel 18:7-29.
The people of Israel had been cruelly oppressed by Philistine rule. Israel’s King Saul and the nation of Israel desperately needed a victory over the Philistine Army. The Philistine soldier Goliath, a nine foot tall Olympic quality athlete/soldier, had single-handedly held Israel’s army at bay for weeks with his daily challenge for one-on-one combat with any Israelite soldier to decide the outcome of the war. King Saul offered a huge reward to the leader that would fight and defeat Goliath. There were no takers.
Leaders need courage, determination and healthy alliances to venture out and follow God. Read Ruth 1:1-18 and 2:11-12.
Seldom has a woman needed courage, determination and a healthy alliance more then Ruth. When she lost her husband, Ruth was left without any male familial support (1:4-5), a situation that in her culture left a woman destitute. In the midst of her circumstances, Ruth displayed great courage and loyalty when she made an alliance with Naomi, another woman without male familial support. She committed to go where Naomi went, accept Naomi’s people as her people and Naomi’s God as her God in return for Naomi’s love and care for her as a mother.
Through a set of very unfortunate circumstances Naomi became the leader of her family. She had a choice to become bitter or trust God. She made the right choice and drew others to God. Re-read the book of Ruth.
Naomi, her husband and two sons left Jerusalem in Judah and went to Moab to avoid the results of a famine. Her husband died shortly after the move and Naomi is left to live with her two sons and their Moabite wives for the next ten years. After the untimely death of her two sons, Naomi was left very vulnerable as a widow with two daughters-in-law in a foreign land and no male in the extended family.