Leadership Pitfall

trap

Once you have decided to be a godly leader, you must seek the help of God to escape the pitfalls along the leadership pathway. Anyone who is reckless on the way normally become casualties in Leadership irrespective of who they are or the exploits they might have done.

Be aware that pitfalls are hidden dangers; they are secret traps that are deliberately positioned to stop you. Consider the kind of man Moses was and the nature of work God put in His hand. Who could say that he would not finish well, that he would fall into one of the traps of leadership? This implies that we ought to humble ourselves to learn about the pitfalls of leadership and how to escape them.

For Moses, he fell into a pitfall at Meribah. The Bible says, “By the waters of Meribah they angered the Lord , and trouble came to Moses because of them; for they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses’ lips” Psalm 106:32-33, (NIV).

Looking at this matter in Numbers chapter 20, this story looks very casual; it appeared like a normal story, but it is a story that brought Moses to a quick and untimely end of his leadership work.

What was the matter? The people of Israel complained bitterly against God and Moses because of lack of water. The complaint offended God greatly especially in view of the many miracles God had done among them. In fact God had provided water in similar situation before. But the people threw caution to the wind and they acted in unbelief towards God.

In response, God commanded Moses to take his rod and speak to the rock so that water may come out for the people to drink. Unfortunately, Moses did the contrary; he spoke rashly to the people and he struck the rock with his rod. Although water came out, and the people drank water, yet his action greatly offended God.

Therefore, The Bible says, “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them” Numbers 20:12, (KJV). Aaron died and was buried in the same chapter; Moses’ work also started to wind down.

No matter the level you have reached in your walk with God, there are certain things you must not toil with. Moses disobeyed God’s instruction and it ended his ministry; he spoke carelessly against the people of God and his heavenly account got frozen. God quickly folded up the work and He started shopping for his replacement.

To avoid the closure of your heavenly account, you must carefully follow God’s instructions to the letter; you must not treat the people you lead with disrespect thinking that you are superior to them. Always remember that this ministry is given you in mercy. So be humble always and the Lord will lift you up in due time. Stay blessed!

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What Leaders Do (I)

 

Animals live by instincts; humans, by reasoning. The greatest ability God endows man with is the ability to think. And being able to think is one of the reasons man is said to be created in the image of God. So, if you choose to be an authentic leader you ought to learn how to think as God thinks, for this is the first thing leaders must do to provide authentic leadership.

The issues of leadership flow from the thinking box called the mind. For instance, no leader can fail unless he has first failed in the mind. And if a leader will make success, it happens first in the mind. For instance, God said He had given the children of Israel the land of Canaan, but ten leaders out of twelve thought they could not take the land. They saw the inhabitants of the land as giants and themselves as grasshoppers. Ridiculous! You may say.

On the contrary, Joshua and Caleb had a different mindset. They saw the inhabitants as bread and the land as what God had already given to them. In the end, the ten leaders perished, but Joshua and Caleb entered the Promised Land.

Really, thinking is the key to leadership destiny. If there is a skill you ought to acquire quickly, it is thinking skill. The following are some of the thoughts leaders ought to think always.

i. Accurate Thought

Everything emanates from thoughts. We create most of our problems by our wrong thoughts; we can solve most of our problems when we switch over to divine thoughts. God’s thought is the highest thought, by it He created the heavens and all the galaxies known and unknown. But the best mind among us has no capacity to independently think the divine thought. God said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord .  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9, (NIV).

Meanwhile, when you become redeemed by the blood of Jesus, you will receive the mind of Christ, you will have the ability to understand and think the divine thoughts. Apostle Paul said we have the mind of God by the virtue of our faith in Christ Jesus. With the mind of Christ in you, you now have the capacity to think like God. Hallelujah!

Now, what is accurate thought? The accurate thought is the thought that is in agreement with God’s thought. God is thinking about you and every issue of your leadership. If you will provide authentic leadership in the home, Church or market, you must locate God’s thought that addresses each issue of your leadership and align your thought  with with God’s thought.

ii. Selfless Thought

Authentic leadership requires selflessness. Most of us do think that we are the center of the universe; yet that is not how authentic leadership happens. Anyone who cannot sympathize with other people in their sufferings and lack won’t be able to serve God’s purpose. So, the hallmark of correct leadership is being able to think for other people towards solving their problems or meeting their needs.

The biggest problem most African nations have is lack of selfless leaders. When these leaders think, they think of themselves; they amass wealth while the majority of the people are wallowing in abject poverty.

iii. Hopeful Thought

Authentic leadership requires good future orientation. A leader is a person who walks in front showing other people the way to a better future. Now, if the leader has a poor view of the future, he may stumble, not being able to provide effective leadership.

Therefore, an authentic leader must be able to think clearly of the future. While others see trouble, he must be able to locate the solution, creating a better future that is most desirable.

iv. Holy Thought

Without holiness, authentic leadership doesn’t happen. Because leadership is God’s business and because God is holy, a leader must be nothing less than holy.

Notice that God doesn’t guage holiness by physical appearance, but by the content of the heart. While King David instructed Solomon on leadership, he said, “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever” 1 Chronicles 28:9, (NIV).

God must find your heart clean all the times. Anytime evil thoughts sneak into your heart, it is your personal responsibility to cast it down and embrace holy thought (2Corinthians 10:4-5).

v. Solution Thought

Authentic leadeship requires solution mindset. Life presents problems in different sizes, colours and times. And the best time for leadership to nanifest itself is when problem arises. The followers may be clueless and discouraged, yet an authentic leader must rise to the occasion and proffer solution. He must think outside the box to fix any nagging issues.

Therefore, you must adopt perpetually the solution mentality. Every problem has its solution. Sometimes a problem may even come with its solution. It takes a leader with solution mindset to locate it.

vi. Eternity Thought

Leadership is a journey to eternity with God. An authentic leader, therefore,  ought to see everything with eternity in view. Some men pursue vanities, an authentic leader must not be in that company. Anything that has no eternal value doesn’t worth your labour.

 

Brother Paul said, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” Philippians 4:8, (NIV).

Leadership requires hard work. One of the most crucial tasks of leaders is thinking. To provide authentic leadership at home, Church or market, you ought to develop your thinking skill. I shall share another important task of leaders in the next edition. Remain blessed! R

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Beginning To Lead Effectively

Source: Beginning To Lead Effectively

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Beginning To Lead Effectively

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Effective leadership. It flows from who you are, your personality.

It is not, first and foremost, a product of some skill you acquired, or some knowledge you gathered somewhere. Do not get me wrong, knowledge and skills are iimportant.

Leadership is who you are in private places, far away from the glares of other people. It is who you are in the secret recess of your heart, it is essentially the thoughts you think and the feelings you generate.

If all your most prevailing  secret thoughts yesterday were to be translated into a stage drama, will you be comfortable watching it with other people who know you? If your response is sincerely yes, then you are beginning to be effective as a leader.

If your answer is No, then you need to change. The ability to change ones thinking from negative to positive is an important key to beginning to lead effectively.

When Jesus came on the scene, He led a campaign for the coming of the kingdom of God. His major emphasis was on changing ones mind as the requirement for becoming a citizen of God’s kingdom (Matthew 4:17). Nobody is permitted to do anything in or for the kingdom without having changed.

When you change for good, it places you on a pedestal where other people can see you and follow your example. Note, a good leader is a person who influences others with godly attitudes and thoughts.  When you change, you are beginning to lead effectively. 

Image source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/

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WHAT GOD LOOKS FOR IN A LEADER (II)

search1What God Looks for

While human beings see only the skin, God looks into the inner recesses of the heart. God looks and searches to know the hidden motive inherent in the heart of every man. When a man smiles, God looks to check the motive for the smile. When a man cries, God searches the heart to find the reason for the emotion. …

Prophet Samuel became confused because God rejected all the sons of Jesse present at the sacrifice. He asked Jesse whether he had any other son. Jesse remembered there was one in the bush, tending the sheep. The prophet ordered for him to be brought home quickly. Although David came raw from the bush, yet he was permitted to participate in the worship seasion. The Bible says, “So he sent and brought him. He had a dark, healthy complexion, with beautiful eyes, and he was handsome. The LORD said, “Get up and anoint him, for this is the one” 1 Samuel 16:12, (ISV).

What did God see in David that He did not see in all his seven elder brothers? God saw two things. The Bible says, “Then God removed Saul and made David their king, about whom he testified, ‘I have found that David, the son of Jesse, is a man after my own heart, who will carry out all my wishes” Acts 13:22, (ISV). God searches every man’s heart who elects to serve His purpose. What is He looking for? He is looking for a particular kind of heart, a heart that fits His work.

The Bible says, “Indeed, you do not delight in sacrifices, or I would give them, nor do you desire burnt offerings. True sacrifice to God is a broken spirit. A broken and chastened heart, God, you will not despise” Psalm 51:16-17, (ISV).

A Broken Spirit, a chastened Heart …

The first thing God looks for is a broken or contrite heart. Please understand that both spirit and heart mean the same thing. They refer to the inner you, the man inside. So a broken or contrite heart is God’s delight; it is the first principle for godly leadership.

The word broken is an agricultural term. Before a farmer sows seeds in his farm, he has to ensure that the soil is broken, made soft so that the seed may flourish very well. Remember Jesus’ parable of the sower. The only ground that brought fruit was the good soil that was devoid of hardness, rock and thorns.

The contrite heart refers to the heart that is broken and soft, that is quickly responsive to the word of God, that readily accommodates and retains the truth until it produces results.

Again, the contrite heart refers to a heart that is very sensitive to sin, that quickly shows regret for sin or wrong behaviour. It doesn’t trivialize sin and evil and has zero tolerance for wickedness.

Once God finds your heart soft, chastened, contrite, He then searches deeper for the second thing namely, integrity.

Integrity

The second thing God looks for in a leader is integrity. Having a soft heart is not enough, God expects a leader to possess integrity therein. Other Bible versions render integrity as uprightness, righteousness, sincerity, truth, etc. In his conversation with God, Solomon said, “And I know, God, that it is you who searches the heart and you who finds pleasure in righteousness…” 1Chronicles 29:17, (ISV).

It gives God pleasure when He finds integrity in the heart of a leader. This will make Him join Himself with such a leader in his leadership; it will also allow Him room to manifest His power in all its colours.

The Bible says, “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom” Psalm 51:6, (KJV).

Iintegrity is a moral state of being sincere and void of hypocrisy. It simply means wholeness or completeness in character. A leader with integrity is a person who practices what he or she preaches; his public life is not different from his private life.

In God’s work, no man lacking integrity is fit no matter how superb his social or academic credentials may appear to be. It is therefore safe to say, no integrity no genuine leadership. Leadership flows from your heart; it conveys the content of your heart into the lives of the followers. If your heart is broken and there is integrity, the people will be blessed and built to serve God faithfully. Imagine the opposite!

In conclusion, pay little attention to human commendations; seek to win God’s approval on your leadership everyday. Adopt this prayer of King David: “God, create a pure heart in me, and renew a right attitude within me” Psalm 51:10, (ISV). Remain blessed!

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What God Looks for in a Leader (I)

Be careful of people’s public opinion about your leadership. Don’t allow praise songs of some sycophants to inflate your ego beyond normal range. People approval mindset is a search2tendency that portends serious danger for godly leadership; it can make a leader lose God’s favour and eventually lose leadership too soon.

King Saul’s story is a timely leadership warning for everyone who longs to serve God’s purpose in this generation. While he occupied the throne and enjoyed people’s accolades, he didn’t bother to secure divine approval. Sad! Few years into his reign, he lost real leadership and he became mere figurehead for about fourty years.

God has no business with leadership figureheads. This explains the reason He asked Samuel to anoint another man for the throne while the king was yet alive. The Bible says, “The LORD told Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I’ve rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I’m sending you to Jesse from Bethlehem because I’ve chosen for myself one of his sons as king”” 1Samuel 16:1, (ISV). What could make God reject and abandon a serving pastor, preacher, lecturer, lawyer or doctor?

Meanwhile, Samuel went down to Jesse’s family. He demanded that all his sons be present before the Lord. The most interesting thing was that God didn’t mention any name to Samuel. I imagine that the next king could be anyone of the Jesse’s sons, but the one who would be chosen must possess what God is looking for in a leader, the quality king Saul  lacked. Samuel nearly missed the will of God because he was carried away with what men look for.

What Men Look for
What men look for in a leader is not the same thing God looks for. For instance, the first son was Eliab: he had an impressive curriculum vitae. He was very tall and handsome. He had everything a king should have except the thing that God was looking for. I imagine he was dancing towards the prophet assisted by drummers, dancers and singers. He thought his time of honour had arrived; he thought his hour of glory had come…

Samuel was also carried away by what he saw in Eliab. I imagine he had already opened the bottle of oil to anoint the man, Eliab. He said surely the Lord’s anointed is here. If not for the timely intervention of God, Samuel would have ordained Mr. Eliab for the throne.

The Church and the society will continue to get poor leadership if our reason for choosing leaders are based only on the externalities – eloquence, degrees, high IQ, age … While all these have their place in godly leadership, yet they alone don’t make a great leadership.

The Bible says,  “The LORD told Samuel, “Don’t look at his appearance or his height, for I’ve rejected him. Truly, God does not see what man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD sees the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7, (ISV). God’s eyes are powerful and piercing; it sees beyond the skin into the inner being – the heart.

I will continue in the second part of this article.

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Success in its Essence 

Winning

What does success mean to you? For some people, success is money or wealth or promotion or a particular attainment. My experience in the recent past has made me embrace a radical view of success in life.

I find that most of what people refer to success is not. Success, in its essence, is more than what we can see or touch. Remember that all the things that we can see and touch are not permanent, they are fleeting and changing and cannot guarantee eternal happiness.

An important truth about any kind of Success is that it attracts favor; it attracts celebration of men. When people attain what the world regards to be success, somebody – at least – will celebrate it.

In the same light, I have found that God also celebrates success wherever He finds one. The Holy Bible contains stories of God and certain people. So, we have the account of God celebrating certain people anytime He saw success in them.

To start with, God was happy with Abel the brother of Cain: God accepted his person and his offering. God celebrated Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses and the prophets. Above all, God celebrated Jesus Christ specially because He was the perfect example of Success. Hence, I found success is when your life attracts God’s admiration.

In Matthew 3:17, the Bible says,  “When Jesus had been baptized, he immediately came up out of the water. Suddenly, the heavens opened up for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him. Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with him!” (ISV). Also, God celebrated Jesus on the mount of transfiguration. He said, “This is my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with him. Keep on listening to him!” Matthew 17:5, (ISV).

What does it take to achieve such a status? What does it take for God to be pleased with a man? I find that all these men pursued something; they pursued an attitude, the attitude of righteousness. Jesus Christ is the perfect example of success. While describing His attitude in life, the Bible says, “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. That is why God, your God, anointed you rather than your companions with the oil of gladness” Hebrews 1:9, (ISV).

Now, success is pursuing righteousness; it is pleasing God, it is hating evil. Success is winning God’s approval always. So, whether you have great wealth or not, never stop seeking to please God, for that is success in its essence. Stay blessed!

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