“Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who walk to go down to Egypt, and have not asked My advice, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore the strength of Pharaoh shall be your shame, and trust in the shadow of Egypt shall be your humiliation. For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes. They were all ashamed of a people who could not benefit them, or be a help or benefit, but a shame and also a reproach.” Isaiah 30:1-5
Leaders and organizations constantly make plans. Yet Isaiah issues a warning to every leader who develops plans without consulting God’s design. Leaders must remember just how tentative strategic plans need to be. No one knows the future except God. Keep in mind the following equation as you plan:
Our Preparation + God’s Providence = Success
Leaders must constantly ask if their plans fit God’s revealed will for them and their organization. Then they must ask if their plans remain relevant to the needs of their mission, their values, their vision, and their long-range objectives.
Finally, they need to ask if their plans fit the needs of their culture and time.
Excerpt from The Maxwell Leadership Bible
“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” (Proverbs 17:1)
I once heard someone joke that home is the place where family members go when they are tired of being nice to other people. Unfortunately some homes actually seem to work that way. A salesman spends his day treating his clients with kindness in order to build his business, but he’s rude to his wife when he comes home. Or a doctor spends the day being caring and compassionate with her patients, but comes home exhausted and blows up at her children.
To build a strong family, you have to make your home a supportive environment. Psychologist William James said, “In every person from the cradle to the grave, there is a deep craving to be appreciated.” Feeling appreciated brings out the best in people. And when that appreciation comes in the home and is coupled with acceptance, love, and encouragement, the bonds between family members grow, and the home becomes a safe haven for everyone.
“We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:1-6)
How can leaders increasingly gain a servant’s heart? This passage reminds us that leadership is about serving others, not wielding power. A servant . . .
- Denies self – we are to please others, not ourselves.
- Develops others – we are to add value to others.
- Accepts mistreatment – we are to forgive wrongs.
- Imitates Christ – we are to look to Jesus as our model.
- Is a student – we are to remain teachable.
- Pursues the harmony of relationships – we are to pursue unity and peace.
Excerpt from The Maxwell Leadership Bible
Insecure leaders are dangerous – to themselves, their followers, and the organizations they lead. That’s because a leadership position becomes an amplifier of personal flaws. Whatever negative baggage you have in life only gets heavier when you’re trying to lead others.
Unsure leaders have several common traits:
- They don’t provide security for others – To become an effective leader, you need to make your followers feel good about themselves.
- They take more from people than they give – Insecure people are on a continual quest for validation, acknowledgment, and love. Because of that, their focus is on finding security, not instilling it in others.
- They continually limit their best people – Show me an insecure leader, and I’ll show you someone who cannot genuinely celebrate victories. The leader might even take credit personally for the best work of the team.
- They continually limit their organization – When followers are undermined and receive no recognition, they become discouraged and eventually stop performing at their potential. And when that happens, the entire organization suffers.
Excerpt from The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader