During your time in positions of leadership, have people and circumstances caused you “the leader” to ask what your life is all about? Is the hard work of exercising leadership what drives you or is there a higher calling? Are the risks and challenging relationships associated with leadership and people worth it all? In the whirlwind of the day, have you ever wondered what the “One Thing” in your life is really about? I have found that over the years in positions of leadership I have had to rest on my “One Thing.” Do you know what your “One Thing” is?
Risk is an entity that goes with the territory of leadership and along with risks must be a certain measure of faith—IN SOMETHING. You take risks financially as a CEO. As a military leader in combat, you risk the lives of those who follow you and you risk the security of the nation. The performance of you “the leader” and that of your organization risk your professional standing and reputation. The decisions you make may well risk the survival of your organization whether in business, the military, or ministry. Are taking on all these risks and the hassle of leadership part of your calling? Answers to these questions require a foundation of faith. I’ve often used the phrases, “There cannot be faith, without risks” and “Don’t dig up with fear and worry, that which was planted in faith.” But the real questions become, “From where do you attain your faith and what is your calling?” What is your “One Thing?”
I am now playing in the fourth quarter of life. As I look back, I have found that my faith came from a special invitation from Him, Jesus and I accepted. From there, through the clouds and fog of many days, I discerned my calling, and that was to exercise leadership as a follower of the ONE. This all changed my life and my focus over time, and it was not without a requisite amount of fear and worry.
There is a movie called “City Slickers,” released in 1991. The theme of the movie was about city slickers who got out of their city rat race to spend time on a dude ranch. At one point in the movie there was a conversation on horseback between the old wrangler Curly, played by Jack Palance and the city slicker, played by comedian Billy Crystal, where Billy after a long day in the saddle trying to herd cattle started whining. At that point, the old wrangler said to Billy, “You’re all the same, you spend about 50 weeks a year gettin knots in your rope, then you think two weeks up here will untie em for you.” Then holding up one finger, he said, “You know what the secret to life is . . . one thing, just one thing, you stick to that, and everything else don’t mean anything (my word).” [i] Is your “One Thing” the ONE? Once you have discovered the ONE, you’ll then have a foundation upon which to exercise your calling of leadership with a faith that flows into your profession, family, and other relationships. Handling the risks and fears that are part of leadership will remain, but with the knowledge that the ONE is by your side for all eternity, those obstacles can be overcome. And guess what, the “all eternity” part– well it’s the most important part. I discovered my “One Thing,” Jesus and it was upon Him that I based my faith for every aspect of life—not perfect but improving, but someday perfect. It’s not so hard, “. . . Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9) Are you listening for His invitation?
Next week we’ll talk more about how you “the leader” might use prayer in exercising leadership as one who has found the “One Thing.”. Stay tuned, SHARE, and go to Growingandbuilding.com/Blog-2/ for the rest of my Blogs.