In Mark 7:21-22 Jesus warns us of what comes from the heart; things such as evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. You don’t have to work at these things; they come naturally to the human heart.
Take a child for instance; you don’t have to teach a child to be selfish, say no or throw a tantrum. You do not have to teach the child to hit, scream or get in a fight with another child. Rather, you find parents trying to teach their children how to be nice, caring, share and control their temper.
As a leader your use of words is by far the most influential tool you have for controlling and influencing those you lead. Your words define the culture of the organization. The question is not whether your organization has a culture, but what kind of culture you have created or are creating?
Let us look at some ways in which your words help create the culture of your organization.
Leaders often are tempted to take too much credit for success and too much blame for failure within the organization they lead. Although in faith-based organizations the tendency often is to deflect praise away from oneself, those in leadership often receive most of the credit or most of the blame. This is even more likely when the leader has a dominant personality (personality-driven leadership).
Exodus 32 presents a fascinating scenario of a leader who refuses to take either credit or blame, but who maintains responsibility and focus.
Some time ago I posted a blog on the challenges I faced when I first arrived here in New Zealand and started jogging. For those of you who missed that post or need a refresher you can find it here, How Rude! Now nearing the end of my stay here, I have noticed a very interesting change from my early experience.
In the last month or so, while out jogging, I have noticed drivers waving, even smiling at me as they drive by. Some even wave and smile before I have time to wave or smile first! Most surprising of all, I have noticed that some drivers are giving me the right of way! What a contrast from when I first arrived in January.
What are you more known for: your personality or your character?
Do you focus more on how others perceive you; or on being true to yourself in a way that respects yourself and others, and honors God?
“The word personality itself stems from the Latin word persona, which referred to a theatrical mask worn by performers in order to either project different roles or disguise their identities” (Kendra Cherry).
In John 17:16, Jesus said those who follow Him are not of the world as he is not of the world. Although we are in the world as His followers, we are not of this world in terms of the values and standards, as the world’s stand in contrast or opposition to the kingdom of God.
As a follower of Jesus living in the world, you should focus on living out and displaying the qualities of the One you are following, Jesus Christ.
Emotionally healthy leaders are leaders who have embraced their real self and are comfortable with who they are in Christ. They know they have weaknesses; they have made mistakes and are not perfect. They are honest with themselves, they don’t live in denial of who they are.
Do you have a person or persons in your life who can tell you the truth about what they are seeing in your life that has the potential to lead to failure as a leader, and ultimately destroy you as a person?
Having people who can tell you the truth is often difficult for leaders because of the power and influence which come with leadership. Those you lead may be seeing signs of failure. However, they may be afraid to say anything directly to you because of the power and influence you have over them.
Family portrait of three generations. Mother, daughter and grandmother.
One of the biggest and toughest challenges leaders have face is the challenge of leading multi-generational organizations. And that challenge is probably most difficult within the church. The primary reason for this is that the church is the only organization whose niche market includes everyone.
One of the last things Jesus said to his disciples before returning to heaven was for them to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). Jesus did not discriminate in any way regarding who should or could be a disciple. This means everyone. Of course, this presents all kinds of challenges for church leaders, one of which is how to effectively lead a multi-generational church.
Written by guest blogger Rhonda Carrim
Recently our family visited the Waipoua Forest in the Northland of New Zealand. A must-see attraction in the forest is Tāne Mahuta, New Zealand’s largest known living kauri tree. Kauri, a type of conifer, are massive trees; only California’s Giant Sequoias are larger. Tāne Mahuta stands nearly 170 feet tall, with a trunk girth of more than 45 feet. Kauri also have longevity; Tāne Mahuta’s estimated age is between 1,200–2,000 years old.