The Strong Leader's Hand
Why Leadership Matters!
One of the cardinal rules of life is that you’ll never accomplish much of anything great without leadership.—Phil Downer in Eternal Impact
Leadership Defined: A strong leader is someone who faithfully unites heart and mind in honorable, selfless action for the betterment of others so as to effectively accomplish the mission.
O Where you place your hand reveals your Vision
Psa. 90:17—Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work our our hands—establish the work of our hands.
Vision is a well-defined picture a strong leader foresees in the future for the organization to reach its highest potential and mission.
Vision influences the direction and commitment of leadership
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.—Warren G. Bennis
Ø Communicate clearly your expectations/intent
Ø Set Goals that are: Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time Sensitive
Illustration: Nehemiah ‘s vision to rebuild Jerusalem—Neh. 2:4,5--Then the king asked me, “What is your request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven and answered the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, send me to Judah and to the city where my ancestors are buried, so that I may rebuild it.
Notice what Nehemiah put his hand to: 5:16 & 6:15--Instead, I devoted myself to the construction of the wall, and all my subordinates were gathered there for the work. We didn’t buy any land . . . The wall was completed in 52 days, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul.
Reference a current vision as an example.
Key Scripture: Pro. 29:18—“Where there is no vision the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.” (NASB)
O The Thumb: Team Player
Teamwork is the joint effort of a group of persons committed to the success of a shared cause. Teamwork influences the magnitude of leadership
Identify the strengths of your team and cause them to flourish in those strengths. Utilize Clifton Strengths; surround yourself with people more talented than you are!
Illustration: Nehemiah’s Team: Neh. 2:7,8,12--I also said to the king: “If it pleases the king, let me have letters written to the governors of the region west of the Euphrates River, so that they will grant me safe passage until I reach Judah. And let me have a letter written to Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest, so that he will give me timber to rebuild the gates of the temple’s fortress, the city wall, and the home where I will live.” The king granted my requests, for I was graciously strengthened by my God . . . I got up at night and took a few men with me. I didn’t tell anyone what my God had laid on my heart to do for Jerusalem. The only animal I took was the one I was riding.
3:1-2 . . . Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests began rebuilding the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and installed its doors. After building the wall to the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel, they dedicated it. The men of Jericho built next to Eliashib, and next to them Zaccur son of Imri built.
Illustration: SGT Mark Cole—My Ranger Buddy
Key Scripture: Ecc. 4:12—A three-strand cord is not easily broken!
O The Index Finger: Character (Being)
Character is the summative features, qualities and traits that form one’s moral nature and reputation. Character influences the nature and quality of leadership.
How many chances do you get with your reputation? Ecc. 7:1--A good name is better than precious ointment.
- “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”--Billy Graham
- "Leadership development comes through character development, because leadership is a character issue".—Henry & Richard Blackaby in Spiritual Leadership
- "Character is reflected in a man who will not let his circumstances dictate his principles."—Phil Downer in Eternal Impact
Illustration: Nehemiah selects God-fearing leaders--7:2—Then I put my brother Hanani in charge of Jerusalem, along with Hananiah, commander of the fortress, because he was a faithful man who feared God more than most.
13:13—I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, with Hanan son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah to assist them, because they were considered trustworthy. They were responsible for the distribution to their colleagues.
Nigeria: Teaching police about character and the question of bribery was raised.
Deu. 16:19—You must not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.
Ecc. 7:7—a bribe destroys a man’s heart
Key Scripture: Daniel 6:4—“The administrators and satraps, therefore, kept trying to find a charge against Daniel regarding the kingdom. But they could find no charge or corruption, for he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him.”
O The Middle Finger: Attitude. (The Fuel)
Attitude is the mental and emotional view and mood applied to people, things, or circumstances. Attitude influences the spirit, will, and force of leadership.
Internally: I strive to do my best, adaptive to change, resilient in adversity
Externally: I convey a positive “can do” spirit to encourage and inspire!
§ “We may not be able to choose our circumstances, but we can choose our attitude towards them.”—Hellen Keller
§ “The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.”—Chuck Swindoll
Illustration: Nehemiah overcomes adversity--Neh. 4:8,9,23--They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw it into confusion. So we prayed to our God and stationed a guard because of them day and night . . . And I, my brothers, my men, and the guards with me never took off our clothes. Each carried his weapon, even when washing.
6:9—For they were all trying to intimidate us, saying, “They will become discouraged in the work, and it will never be finished.” But now, my God, strengthen me.
"When conditions are difficult, the command is depressed and everyone seems critical and pessimistic, you must be especially cheerful and optimistic . . . Indeed, more alarming and disastrous the situation, the more determined must be your attitude . . . The less you agree with the policies of your superiors, the more energy you must direct to their accomplishment."—Gen. George C. Marshall
Abraham Lincoln’s Shoe Story
When Abraham Lincoln became the president of America, his father was a shoemaker. And, naturally, egoistic people were very much offended that a shoemaker’s son should become the president. They were aristocrats, who thought it was their birthright to be in the highest government post. A shoemaker’s son? On the first day, as Abraham Lincoln entered to give his inaugural address, just in the middle, one man stood up. He was a very rich aristocrat. He said, “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family.” And the whole Senate laughed; they thought that they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln.
But Lincoln – and that type of person is made of a totally different mettle – Lincoln looked at the man and said, “Sir, I know that my father used to make shoes in your house for your family, and there will be many others here… because the way he made shoes, nobody else can. He was a creator. His shoes were not just shoes, he poured his whole soul in it. I want to ask you, have you any complaint? Because I know how to make shoes myself; if you have any complaint I can make another pair of shoes. But as far as I know, nobody has ever complained about my father’s shoes. He was a genius, a creator, and I am proud of my father!”
The whole Senate was struck dumb. They could not understand what kind of man Abraham Lincoln was. He had made shoe-making an art, a creativity. And he was proud because his father did the job so well that not even a single complaint had ever been heard. And even though he was the president of America, he was ready to make another pair if there was any complaint. The man looked silly. Lincoln insisted, “You have to speak! Why have you become dumb? You wanted to make me a fool, and now, look all around: you have made a fool of yourself.”
Key Scripture: Col. 3:23,24—“Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord—you serve the Lord Christ.”
O The Ring Finger: Conduct (Doing)
Conduct is the manner in which we behave. Conduct influences the behavior of leadership.
Major General T.K. Moffett walked back and forth in front of the assembled soldiers. The new boss from Mississippi had just finished his first day commanding the 104th Division and he elected to share with his soldiers his leadership philosophy:
#1. Do the right thing.
#2. Treat others the way you would like to be treated
Let everyone regulate his conduct... by the golden rule of doing to others as in similar circumstances we would have them do to us, and the path of duty will be clear before him. –William Wilberforce
Leaders who are unable to love their people and who are unwilling to consider their needs, are insecure in their own identity.—Henry & Richard Blackaby in Spiritual Leadership
#3. Do your best.
- The Power of Praise
- The Importance of Discipline
Illustration: Nehemiah’s godly example—Neh. 5:15,16—T he governors who preceded me had heavily burdened the people, taking food and wine from them, as well as a pound of silver. Their subordinates also oppressed the people, but I didn’t do this, because of the fear of God. Instead, I devoted myself to the construction of the wall, and all my subordinates were gathered there for the work. We didn’t buy any land.
Alex T. –18 year-old high school student while working was rear ended and decided not to turn into insurance when he realizes the driver who hit him had suffered his second accident in a month and held a commercial license and thus would have his livelihood affected by insurance going up.
Key Scripture: 2 Co. 1:12—For this is our confidence: The testimony of our conscience is that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with God-given sincerity and purity, not by fleshly wisdom but by God’s grace.
1 Peter 1:15-17—But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. And if you address as Father the One who judges impartially based on each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your temporary residence.
O The Little Finger: Wisdom The Lifelong Learner
Wisdom is the lifelong application of knowledge with the ability to do what is proper and right. Wisdom influences the efficacy of leadership.
Therefore, the best thing leaders can do for their organization is to grow personally.—Henry & Richard Blackaby in Spiritual Leadership
Proverbs 4:5-8—Get wisdom, get understanding; don’t forget or turn away from the words of my mouth. Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you. Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; if you embrace her, she will honor you.
Psa. 90:12—Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.
What are you doing to grow in knowledge? What happens when leaders stop learning?
Pro. 9:11—For by Wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.
I make it a goal each year to read through the Bible and to read at least two books a month.
Pro. 1:5—A wise man will listen and increase his learning, and a discerning man will obtain guidance.
Illustration: Nehemiah the reformer--Neh. 13:1—At that time the book of Moses was read publicly to the people. The command was found written in it that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God,
Eph. 5:15-17—Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.