Type A achievers tend to have high capacity to handle a lot of different tasks and assignments all at the same time. However, whilst the results may be enviable in the short term, the long term consequences are far less glamorous and far more stressful. The person who who commits themselves to focus on fewer things but with greater attention and resolve will execute far more consistently and receive better results long term. It has taken me my entire life to learn this principle. I would struggle with saying ‘NO’ to well meaning people who would ask me to get involved in a task, ministry or event. I didn’t want to disappoint people and I thought I could make a helpful contribution. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. High profile individuals are generally recognized for the one unique thing they do remarkably well, not for the million and one things they are average at. Play to your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Do less and do it better. You’ll enjoy life more and you’ll produce better results.
Malcolm Gladwell has recently popularised the 10,000 hour rule in his landmark work, “The Tipping Point”. The 10,000 hour rule is the idea that to become world-class in any activity or pursuit requires a total time commitment of 10,000 hours. Be it in golf, public speaking or playing guitar, the 10,000 hour rule is fairly consistent right across the board of professionals and world-class contributors in their chosen field. You may not desire to be world-class in any activity you are engaged in but the principle of focus and repetition can’t be underestimated if you desire to become more effective. Unfortunately, too many of us are lazy and possess a, “I can’t be bothered” outlook on life that is very selfish and fails to steward the gifts God has blessed us with. I don’t always want to go the 2nd mile but I’m learning it reaps fruitful dividends if I’m willing to put the work in. Maybe its time to stop making excuses and start logging the hours up. You’ll wake up one day and be glad you did.
Leadership development is more than a course, it’s a life long process. Through this life long process God molds us over many years into the person he wants us to be. Growing into the leader God wants you to be demands great faith in God and a breaking of our own resources. Leadership development requires an intentional framework of thinking.
I think about leadership development in the form of a compass.
The true NORTH of the leadership compass is Character: Character is the foundation of leadership that establishes dependability. The Book of Proverbs talks about our gift making room for us. The formation of character helps you stand strong when more room is created for you to exercise your gift.
EAST of the leadership compass is Vision: Casting vision is being able to embody a clear and compelling picture of the future. Casting vision answers the ‘what direction are we heading in?’ question. Casting and clarifying compelling vision is one of the chief responsibilities of the spiritual leader.
SOUTH of the leadership compass is Skills: Our gifts make room for our leadership to be expressed. Some of the skills of a leader include creating culture, strategic planning, communication, conflict resolution, time management, delegation and team building.
WEST of the leadership compass is Relationships: Leaders must be able to build strong relationships with people to realise vision. No matter how gifted you may be, none of us can fulfill the vision alone. The primary means of influencing people is through the building of healthy relationships.
Character partnered with vision helps you to model commitment to the vision. Character partnered with relationship helps us to earn trust from followers. Skills partnered with relationship helps us to serve and empower followers. Vision partnered with skills helps us motivate commitment in followers.
Keep in mind, you lead out of who you are. What God does is take us on a journey to develop 4 major aspects of who we are: Identity, integrity, intimacy and intensity. Keep the big picture framework of the leadership process in the forefront of your mind as God develops you into the leader he has called you to be.