All my Blogs begin with, “If it wasn’t for people. . .“ from a saying I often use, “If it wasn’t for people, it would be easy.” And that is correct, people are what exercising leadership is all about whether those people are part of your organization or people whom you “the leader” can influence external to your organization. But always keep in mind the rest of the story, “If it wasn’t for people it wouldn’t be worth anything.” Therein lies the real joy.
All this is easy to say but working with people can and does wear you down. That is why my son would rather be a software developer than the Director of Software Development for his company. Why all those other creative programmers with all their bright ideas “are a pile of work waiting for someone to come along and do” and sometimes those ideas aren’t even close to what you had in mind. They may even dig in their heels and dragging folks with dug in heels can wear you “the leader “out.
But consider what the prophet Jeremiah said, “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?” (Jer. 12:5)
This is where real leadership comes in; shouldering people’s problems and concerns so you can digest them and return them in a way that convinces them to take on the work at hand and follow the right path toward mission success. And when that happens a few times, guess what, you “the leader” are chosen for a more difficult assignment or position, and along come the “horses” charging up a mountain that may seem impossible for you to climb where you can barely keep from getting trampled.
Even the most confident leaders who continue to be chosen to climb those bigger and steeper mountains wonder at times whether they’ll make it across the next ridgeline. But those of us who know the Rock upon which we are grounded can take comfort in the fact that He will not give us an assignment, whatever the outcome, that does not lead to “the greater good.” It all boils down to faith and perseverance.
A song that Josh Groban sings always encourages me and reminds me of where I stand:
“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be.” 2.
So, the questions become, “Do you know the ONE upon whose shoulders you can stand and who can make you more than you ever thought you could be?” The ONE, He is easier to get to know than you might think. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28) And that’s a promise “. . . if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rm. 10:9) Well, maybe it’s not so easy, but He’ll give you the strength to do it. Listen for that “still small voice” and follow. You’ll never turn back.
Any fathers or up and coming young leaders in your family? They might like a copy of my book, GROWING AND BUILDING, Faith, Prayer, and Leadership. Order at Growingandbuilding.com by 8 June for a signed copy.