LOVE IN THE FACE OF CRISIS

There must be an observable difference between a leader who is worldly and a leader who knows Jesus, a leader who loves. How does a Christian leader show that he is not of this world? How does the Christian leader glorify God? Answers to these questions are not a matter of leadership style. It’s all about the daily relationship between the leader and God.

This seems almost simplistic, but we can never be reminded enough that a relationship with Jesus is the most important qualification of a leader. The worldy leader leads and manages from a worldly perspective. The foundation of this leader s sinking sand. The world infoms, persuades, instructs, and ultimately destroys a powerless leader. Joshua received his leadership training directly from God, who told him:

“Be strong and very courageous, in order to act carefully in accordance with all the law that My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn aside from it to the right or the left, so that you may succeed wherever you go. This Book of the Law us not depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night so that you may act carefully according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way successful, and you will be wise.” Joshua 1:7-8

Loving leaders have the same instructions. Our walk does not include turns to the left or right. We will succeed wherever we go as we depend upon the Lord for direction. We are also reminderd to speak the Word. We are to meditate upon it day and night. We are to “act carefully according to all that is written in it.”

From Love Leads by Steve Greene, 2017



Groaners accelerate Entropy

Moses experienced what many leaders experience: moaners, groaners, gripers and complainers. Although more opposition is found in a valley, desert, or wilderness, some employees will find something to complain about even on the mountaintop of victory.

The Israelites were vocal grumblers. They complained about Moses’s vision for entering the Promised Land after Pharaoh upped their quota and deadlines (Exod 5:1-22). They complained as the Egyptian army pursued them (Exod. 14:11-12). They complained about bitter water (Exod. 15:22). They complained about being hungry (Exod 16:1-4). They complained about being thirsty (Exod 17:1-4) and more.

The Israelites lobbed false accusations at Moses (Num 16:41). Even Moses’s own brother and sister turned against his leadership (Num 12:1-2). And when it was time to enter the Promised Land, ten of the twelve spies brought back an evil, unbelieving report (Num 13:32). Moaners, groaners, and naysayers surround every step of progress. As we attempt to climb a mountain, we will surely experience the clawing hands of ankle grabbers who want to pull us down

Moses was charged with moving people out of the status quo – out of bondage of old ideas that had stopped working – and into the Promised Land. He was mocked for trying to fight entropy. The Israelites fought him almost every step of the way. They were always ready to run back to what they knew for fear of what they did not know. The status quo is comfortable, predictable, and limiting. Our work teams must be led out of the comfort of expected results. A team begins to move backward the moment the cloud of comfort settles in. That’s one reason it took the Israelites forty years to make a forty-day journey and a generation died without seeing the promise.

From Love Leads by Steve Greene, 2017



MANAGING ENTROPY

One of the fruits of faith is endurance. Leaders who love have a basic instinct to keep pressing forward even in the face of distractions and storms Love is a powerful motivating force to charge forward. Moses loved his people so much that he led them through the wilderness without personally experiencing the Promised Land. He let them to a place he had never been to and would never reach. Great humility and wisdom where key markers of Moses’s character.

Moses displayed a habit of making the right choice. We all make choices every day. The first choice is to decide whether to be led by flesh or the spirit. We choose to set our minds and conversations on things pertaining to the flesh or to focus our attention upon the leading of the Holy Spirit. We don’t accidentally follow the desires of the flesh. We make decisions to allow our sinful nature the opportunity to govern. It is impossible to serve two masters. We decide to be on the side that satisfies God or the side that satisfies our flesh. This is an important point of differentiation for leaders. We need to be clear about what team we support. We can’t begin the day on one team and then change uniforms at halftime. We cannot wear the pants of one team and the jersey of another. We must declare our allegiance. One team hurries entropy, while the other works hard to slow the process of decay.

Moses was a leader who abided in the Kingdom of God, and he was deliberate about pursuing things that are invisible and eternal. His mind was set upon things above. Leaders such as Moses will delare openly, “There is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.” (Ps 73:24). This primary goal is the essence of sustainability. When desires float away from godliness, decay is sure to accelerate.

“Love Leads” by Steve Greene, 2017



LEARNING TO SAY NO

Most leaders have to learn similar lessons along the way when it comes to working with people. Jacob’s story had soap-operatic twists and turns, but after twenty long years of service Jacob was prepared to lead – and part of that preparation was learning to say no. When the Lord told Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers, to your family, and I will be with you.” (Gen 31:3) Jacob did not consult with cheating Laban. With God’s help Jacob finally learned to say no.

I believe Jacob learned to say no to temptations that would alter his time priorities. Three questions could determine our productivity today: (1) can you fit me in? (2) Can you fit in another meeting?, and (3) can you fit this into your to-do list today? There’s a lot of fitting in happening in organizations today, and that’s not a good thing. Somehow we’ve come to think, “If I

can fit it in, I should

fit it in.” Life seems cluttered with “should”

Highly effective leaders say no with much more resolve than average leaders do – but love leaders say it in a way that improves relationships. We learn much about a leader’s growth potential base on what he won’t do. Effective leaders make room to make a difference. They don’t fill up a to-do list with more than one thing that must be done today.

“Love Leads” by Steve Greene, 2017



GODLY TIME MANAGEMENT

There is a common collision between our plans for the day and the spiritual appointments set fur us. We often confuse the important with the urgent. The people who surround a leader will rarely understand a decision to move in a spiritual assignment instead of responding to the myriad of highly urgent demands in the workplace.

It’s not hard to discern the spiritual agenda of the day. It is assigned through prayer and daily Bible reading. A spiritual assignment rarely comes by e-mail, text, or voice mail. I comes directly into our hears and likely consumes us.

The more I focus on completing spiritual assignments, the more God is faithful to redeem the time and somehow make the path easier to complete marketplace assignments. Spending the day chasing donkeys is the path of least resistance. But moving toward a spiritual priority requires resisting the temptation to respond to the urgent. Godly time management is spiritual warfare.

Our time is well spent when we cultivate relationships that lead to influence. When we stop being too busy to care more, our relationships and influence will enjoy marked improvement.

“Love Leads” by Steve Greene, 2017



AN HOUR A DAY

i set aside one hour of each day that I call my ‘zero hour’. During the hour I have zero tolerance for distractions. No tech, no emails, no nothing but proactive thinking, writing, or doing. I prefer to have no interruptions during zero hours, but I’m not always able to control my door. Remember, a zero hour happens during work hours within the office is full.

During this time I’m holding myself accountable to get away from my computer screens and phone and shut down for an hour of progress. I do not allow myself any excuses for breaking my rules during zero hour. I’ve been amazed at how one simple hour can make such an impact on progress.

But I also want to mention the most important hour of the day, which occurs before anyone is in the office with me. Most of you have a similar time. Mine is called a “power hour.” It is during this hour that I spend time building the most important relationship of all. During this hour I have my devotions and prayer time. I intercede for those I have committed to praying for, and the list is long. I also pray for every member of my team by name every morning.

I depend upon my power hour to launch my day and receive the spiritual assignments God has for me. I have no distractions and no interruptions. Perhaps a zero hour and a power hour coud be useful in your day.

“Love Leads” by Steve Greene, 2017



RELATIONSHIPS ARE BUILT OVER TIME

When Jacob encountered Rachel at the well, it was love at first sight. Their first kiss was in the field among sheep, and he was soon invited back home to meet her dad. Laban offered Jacob a job, saying, “Tell me, what shall your wages be?” (Gen 29:15). Jacob wasn’t interested in riches. Love inspired him to win Rachel’s heart.

Loving leadership requires setting priorities. Jacob had his priorities in order. His love for Rachel constrained him. Likewise the love of the Lord should constrain us to redeem the time “because the days are evil.” (Eph 5:16) That means setting the right priorities. Jacob didn’t let anything get in the way of his heart’s desire to win Rachel.

We show love by our nos as well as our yeses. Leaders who love are intentional about carving out time to develop relationships with teammates. It is never a waste of time to make time to listen to teammates. It is never a waste of time to make time to listen to teammates. If Jacob had shifted his priorities at any time and given up his plan, what would have happened to Israel? God gives us the time to do His will. He expects us to demonstrate good stewardship with our choices on how to use the tie we’ve been given.

“Love Leads” by Steve Greene, 2017



Relationships Precede Influence

The essence of leadership is influence. Without influence a leader will resort to using fear and intimidation as a means to an end.

Influence begins in a leader’s heart. I don’t know if it is possible to influence anyone in the long run without demonstrating a wheelbarrow full of care and compassion. The abundance of my heart is demonstrated in the manner in which I speak and take action. It is a combination of words and actions that builds a relationship.

To be a person of influence, I must first be willing to be influenced by the needs of those I hope to lead.

Leader’s don’t say: “Let me influence you. See how hard I work and how much I care? Now follow me!” Meaningful care is demonstrated more than spoken.

Leaders must focus on the needs of work teams. There is a time and place to focus on the efficacy of the work, but the antecedent of a highly effective work team is a leader’s influence on the group. A matrix of influence exists because a leader birthed a culture of meaningful relationships. The leader’s care must be felt within each work station. Every member of a team must feel the flow of his leader’s concern over time.

“Love Leads” by Steve Greene, 2017



LOVE SACRIFICES

When we read or hear stories of faithful sacrifice, the stories usually include some terrible loss of life on behalf of another. Somehow it seems to motivate us because one person had the courage to die for another.

Author and pastor Bryan Chapell tells the story that happened in his hometown. Two brothers were playing on the sandbanks by the river. One ran after the other up a large mound of sand. Unfortunately the mound was not solid, and their weight caused them to sink in quickly.

When the boys did not return home for dinner, the family and neighbors organized a search. They found the younger brother unconscious, with his head and shoulders sticking out above the sand. When they cleared the sand to his waist, he awakened. The searchers asked, “Where is your brother?” the child replied, “I’m standing on his shoulders.”

Love begins with giving up something of value. It may be time, money, or personal preferences that are first sacrificed for the greater good. When a leader stops to listen to the plea of a line worker, the leader is sacrificing other work to demonstrate love by listening to a team member.

Leader love finds ways to sacrifice anything other than people who are doing the work of the organization. Leaders are called to “die to self” in almost any meeting. Leader love must set aside personal preferences to allow others at the table to try things the leader doesn’t really want to do. Sometimes it’s more important to allow a team member to grow than it is to launch pet projects.

Faith involves more than belief. A leader who is full of faith will be note for taking actions that require personal sacrifice. Leaders die daily for the good of the vision and mission. Loving leaders lead in faith and are willing to die to self.

“Love Leads”, by Steve Greene, 2017



COVER YOUR TEAM

God desires leaders who will seek His face. Common leadership principles are useful to accomplish temporal goals. Leading a team to accomplish spiritual goals requires a dependence on hearing the voice of God. I have heard from the Lord throughout my career. The Lord said in Ezekel 22:30, “ I sought for a man among them who would build up the hedge and stand in the gap before Me for the land so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one.”

Isn’t it sad that God was seeking but could not find anyone to stand in the gap to protect His people? Not one man would demonstrate the faith to build a hedge around the land. Love-driven leaders are the first to stand in the gap to protect their team. Leader love takes hits without hesitation. The promise of covering is implied in the job title.

Love-driven are quick to pray for the needs of the team. Leader love intercedes.

Covering includes a willingness to correct and coach. To leave a team untrained and vulnerable shows a measurable lack in leadership.

Serving others is perhaps the best form of covering. A leader with a servant’s heart sees gaps and creates action to meet needs. There are many gaps in the workplace. Many hedges need to built, including a hedge of prayer.

“Love Leads”, by Steve Greene, 2017




 

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