“There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.” ~ Carl Sandburg
Your leadership responsibilities bring with them the risk of burnout. The constant stream of problems to solve and resources to stretch can be draining and exhausting. The formula is quite simple: If more energy is expended than is renewed, strength is depleted. When you experience seasons where you feel worn down, overstretched or overwhelmed, be encouraged by these words of Isaiah:
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~ Thomas Edison
The energy and strength needed to work hard is typically fueled by the combination of focused passion, clear purpose and the right priorities. A person whose passion, purpose and priorities are aligned in this way won’t need a pep talk to get them started. They are highly motivated to tackle any challenge set before them in order to achieve their goal. The Apostle Paul is a great example of this principle.
“In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity.” ~ Richard Baxter
Credibility is built on common ground. Until you have something in common with someone else, you will not be able to achieve any credibility with them. We naturally look with suspicion at those who are “uncommon” to us. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to find common ground. In fact, in many cases, we have to get on the other person’s turf before we can discover where our common ground is with them. Don’t wait for the other person to find common ground with you. As a leader, go first and initiate the processes of finding common ground with them.
“Don’t give up at halftime. Concentrate on winning the second half.” ~ Paul “Bear” Bryant.
It’s not over until it’s over! It is so important to be more “growth-oriented” than “goal-oriented” as a leader. Goals are important, however “goal-oriented” leaders tend to either “give up” when things go bad or “lay up” and take it easy when they achieve a goal.
“I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” ~ Winston Churchill
Worry is draining. When you “spend” worry, it’s like borrowing money before you need it. You essentially create an emotional debt for something that may or may not happen. Worry charges high interest in the form of distraction and fear that will eventually drain your emotional bank account. Why worry? In our humanity, we have weaknesses that allow the circumstances of this world to distract us from simply trusting God. Here’s what Jesus had to say about worry:
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
Stretching, pulling and lifting are the very things that help build strength. Just think about how a bodybuilder or athlete works out to build strength and speed. They push themselves to the limit in order to get better and stronger. Their workouts aren’t easy. They intentionally create difficult challenges for themselves to help them grow in athletic ability.
wpengineExercising Your Leadership – Summit Life Today
“When the pressure is on, great leaders are at their best. Whatever is inside them comes to the surface.” ~ John C. Maxwell
The trophy is yours, now play the game! Jesus Christ has already won the victory for us. We are champions in Him. You can botch a play, fumble the ball, get injured, step out of bounds and even allow the other team to score, but you can’t lose the game.
“Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
John C. Maxwell says leaders need to be “Hope Dealers”. When things get tough, everything is changing and uncertain, or when you are in the middle of a crisis, what everyone needs the most is hope. Great leaders always find a way to bring hope to seemingly hopeless situations. This requires maturity and a big picture perspective. It also requires bold and insightful leadership set on serving others.
“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” ~ Mother Teresa
The poor serve as a parable of sorts. We can learn a lot from the poor. Jesus as the Messiah came to serve those who were in desperate need; such as the lame, the blind, the sick and the poor. Their physical needs can be used to teach us lessons about our spiritual condition. We too are in desperate need of someone to love us, care for us, heal us and restore us spiritually.
“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” ~ Booker T. Washington
Strong secure leaders use their position of strength to serve others. They pull others up. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Unfortunately, many leaders in positions of power only use their strength for their own benefit. They push others down. That’s not how God intends it to be. Paul writes to the church at Rome about this very thing: