Friday, July 01, 2011

From the Gut to the Shoulders

In my last post, I talked about going with your gut. Just to be clear, going with your gut doesn't mean we rule out the Holy Spirit's work in decision making. But our responsibility in the process should weigh heavily upon us. Too often we blame God for our bad decisions. We say, "it must not have been God's will" rather than admit we've failed. We justify our decisions based upon "the Spirit's leading" instead of taking full responsibility for our choices. This leads me to today's post ...

If you want to be a leader, you must be willing to take the responsibility upon your shoulders. Although God empowers us, guides us, and gives us wisdom, he has also placed us in a position of responsibility and therefore it is our job to make it work right.

When I first started in full time ministry, I operated as if I was powerless to effect change around me. Rather than seeing the problem and the solution as residing within myself, I blamed my circumstances or I blamed others. I just wasn't being honest with myself. I meet people all the time who function like this. "Our seminar was a flop because of the venue on the other end." "The church service was flat because the crowd was dead." Or my personal favorite: "My child keeps getting in trouble because the teacher doesn't like my kid." On all accounts, What a crock! (Oops, did I say that out loud?) Are there circumstances which are genuinely out of our control? Sure. But more often than not, we can do something about it.

When you step into the arena of leadership, the responsibility rests upon your shoulders. Your organization, your department, your family is a reflection of you. "What about my boss?" someone might say, "he's difficult to work for." Someone who thinks this way should ask himself, "How can I make it work in my little world?" "But I've got lazy people working for me." Really? Isn't it your job to make sure you have people who do their job with enthusiasm and energy? Why settle? Make it happen.

If you are blaming everything and everyone else like I once did, Stop it! The day you stop complaining about your circumstances or the people around you and take it upon your shoulders to start creating change in your little world is the day you start leading.

In the 3 minute video below Ernest Bai Koroma, the President of Sierra Leone, reflects upon the country's rich natural resources and asks, "Why are we poor when we are not supposed to be poor? What are we doing that is wrong?" Perhaps some people in Sierra Leone are beginning to take the responsibility for their country upon their own shoulders ...