Monday, December 6, 2010

Leadership Matters

This past week I have found myself in the unenviable role of peacemaker between two people who were both trying to offer their best in service to the Lord.  One has authority and position, the other does not.  Sometimes the interaction was like metal on metal and produced some grinding gears.  Sometimes they had differences in philosophy about how to reach the shared goal of producing something that would be a blessing to many.  Sometimes passions flared and prickly words bounced around the room.

A few observers formed opinions and made recommendations.

Misunderstanding on both sides, me in the middle, trying to translate.

Each had valid points.  I watched the wisdom possessed by these two, the designated leader and the one who can't help leading, changing hands like a game of hot potato.  I saw the titled one trying hard to be gracious despite rough patches.  I saw the untitled one digging deep for calm in the face of technical difficulties and the blow of being misunderstood.  Neither of them succeeded completely, but their efforts were valiant.  I know they both prayed their way through it.

There is so much at stake.  There is so much about this that matters.

I certainly am no authority, but I'd like to humbly submit my 12 observations for leaders to consider:

  1. Always try to set people up for success, not failure. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33
  2. When others fail to meet your standards and expectations, give grace, grace, and more grace--You never know how far they've already come or how hard their day has already been. Matthew 18:21-22
  3. God's instruction (His Word)  is given to each of us to apply to the face in the mirror--be very careful about trying to apply it to your brother or sister.  Matthew 7:3
  4. God is much more concerned with how closely we cling to Him than about whether we do everything right.  Psalm 63:7-8
  5. Don't wrap a big wrought-iron "SHOULD" around the light and easy yoke of Jesus.  Matthew 11:29
  6. Only God is fit to judge the content of a person's heart.  Romans 14:10
  7. Anyone can put on a plastic face of conformity to people-please inside the church doors--it takes guts and real love to let people be themselves without criticizing and constant correcting. 1 Peter 4:8
  8. Accountability should never be a one-way street. Ephesians 5:21
  9. Encouragement works wonders that disapproval never will. Proverbs 15:1
  10. Lip service is never enough--act toward people in a way that backs up your words, especially with young people. 1 John 3:18
  11. Be the biggest cheerleader your people have. Hebrews 10:24
  12. Always, always, always have their back! 1 Corinthians 13:7

The Blue Angels demonstrate their incredible teamwork, Fleet Week, San Francisco, CA,
October 2010

What are your favorite leadership principles?
Share with me your story of what great leadership looks like!


I'm joining Ann Voskamp in her counting of the multitude of gifts God bestows everyday!
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!

holy experience


146. Kind and caring police officers who protect and serve
147. A vintage red and white car looking all fancy in frost "diamonds," sparkling in the morning sun
148. Our wise and loving youth pastor who hears hearts
149. The Mama Grizzly Bear that rises up in me to watch out for my kids
150. Holy Spirit assistance to bite my tongue when necessary
151. Sharing the sunrise with She-So-Sweet
152. My camera equipment that lets me capture moments
153. Capture-worthy moments
154. Phone calls that help me sort through it all
155. Dear friends who call to say, "We're coming to town--we HAVE to see you!!"
156. That rocky rehearsals often result in beautiful performances
157. When clarity comes from unexpected places
158. For people who make a point to say out loud the words that encourage and uplift
159. For safe trips back and forth to all the rehearsals and performances, even in the pouring rain
160. That "He came all this way to make my heart His home."

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