Is it their management skills? Is it their management techniques? Is it their competencies? Is it their tactics? Do any of these things make you feel any better about your leaders? Are any of these things really impacting your view of your leadership? You know where most people focus right? But is that the right place to be focusing?
Do you realize that the thing that tends to trigger issues or problems hover around character and are triggered by fear, pride, the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, as well as prioritization?
Do you realize the most important part of leadership? Do you focus on improving those areas? Let’s consider what is most important character!
- the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual:
“running away was not in keeping with her character”
- the distinctive nature of something:
“gas lamps give the area its character”
- the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way:
“the island is full of character”
- strength and originality in a person’s nature:
“she had character as well as beauty”
- a person’s good reputation:
“to what do I owe this attack on my character?”
- dateda written statement of someone’s good qualities; a recommendation.
- a part played by an actor.
- a person seen in terms of a particular aspect of character:
“he was a larger-than-life character” ·[more]“shady characters”
- informalan interesting or amusing individual:
“he’s a real character”
- biologya characteristic, especially one that assists in the identification of a species.
- archaicinscribe; engrave.
- describe; characterize:
“you have well charactered him”
ORIGINMiddle English: from Old French caractere, via Latin from Greek kharaktēr ‘a stamping tool.’ From the early sense ‘distinctive mark’ arose ‘token, feature, or trait’ (early 16th cent.), and from this ‘a description, esp. of a person’s qualities,’ giving rise to ‘distinguishing qualities.’
character (noun) characters (plural noun) character (verb) characters (third person present) charactered (past tense) charactered (past participle) charactering (present participle)
- the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness:
“he is known to be a man of integrity”
- the state of being whole and undivided:
“upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”
- the condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction:
“the structural integrity of the novel”
- internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data:
ORIGINlate Middle English (sense 2): from French intégrité or Latin integritas, from integer ‘intact’ (see integer). Compare with entirety, integral, and integrate.
- the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically:
“emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success”
So where are you at today? What is your role? Do you realize people are watching you? Do you realize that there are people who are following you? Do you realize the calling on your life? Do you know what is right? Do you know what you have to do? Do you do it?
Let’s jump into the readings from today’s devotional (day 1) and then circle back with the specifics called out by today’s devotional…
Today’s reading begins here…
6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
–from Romans 2
So how are you living out life? What works are you producing? There are rewards when we do things His way! When people ask me how I do it, I usually answer, “I do all that I can do, and leave the rest up to Him”. Today’s reading speaks to some key characteristics: patience vs self-seeking. Patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality will receive eternal life from God! Self-seeking and disobedience to the truth as well as being unrighteous, He will allow them to suffer wrath and fury.
So let’s take a stop here to meditate on where we are at, how we work, and offer up in humility to God an ask for help, an ask for wisdom, and a pleading for forgiveness.
Today’s reading continues with the following…
17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
–from James 3
God’s wisdom of which we just asked is awesome. It’s pure! It’s peace! There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! So it gives instruction in a way that builds up rather than what the devil’s lies try to put into your head with tearing you down via condemning you. God’s wisdom is gentle and provides reason! God’s wisdom is full of mercy and good fruits! God’s impartial and sincere! His character is solid as a rock!
He gives us an example to model our lives and our leadership after!
Consider Jesus who humbled himself to come to the earth, born in humble situation of a manger, lead by example, and then gave completely of himself to the point of death on the cross to provide for a way that we are able to now receive and be reconciled back to God even though He was sinless, He took the penalty for all of our sins (the ones from our past and the ones we haven’t done yet, once for all). He became sin even though He did nothing wrong, leading humbly as a servant that those who will follow Him will reap the benefits and the reward of eternity with Him in heaven! Let’s not be self-centered, but rather be putting the focus on God! Allowing the world to learn that the answer is Jesus!
Today’s reading finishes with this …(expanded to include the start of the sentence)
23Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
–from Jeremiah 9
So don’t be boastful about you and all that you have done, but rather share the hope that is within you because of God! We can boast about how God knows what we need even before we ask! We can boast about how we can put all of our hope and trust in Him! We can boast about God’s character and how He loves, how He is just, how He is righteous! Let’s strive to know God more! Let’s strive to build our relationship with Jesus! We don’t want to be people who know about Him, we want to be people who know Him! We don’t want to end up like the people we read about where we find out that He knows the people we know, but He doesn’t know us because we weren’t in relationship with Him!
22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
–from Matthew 7
We need to live like we know Him! We need to live beyond knowing about Jesus, we need to live knowing Jesus!
Build Your House on the Rock46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”–from Luke 6
So let’s consider all of this as we take a look at the devotional reading for today from Character of a Great Leader (Day 1):
“The Leadership Problem”
Would you agree that a person could be very knowledgeable yet very unchanged by that knowledge? All of us, for that matter, know certain things that ought to be done but fail to do them, don’t we?
We know what food is good for us, yet we choose to ignore that knowledge. We know overspending is bad and will lead to serious consequences, yet we overextend ourselves financially. We know that in order to become “great” we need to humble ourselves and serve, yet too often we use our position and power to lord it over others and to manipulate them in order to satisfy our egos.
Knowledge is actually useless…unless we make a conscious decision to apply it. In Philippians 4:9 we are told: “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things…”
There are over 20,000 leadership development resources available, yet despite the growing magnitude, they have failed to produce good leaders. According to the latest research by Barna Group, 90% of Americans believe the nation is facing a crisis of leadership, 61% say they work for a bad boss and 33% say that poor leadership at work is the most stressful part of their workday. So what’s the problem?
You see most leadership development focus on management techniques, building competencies, skills and tactics, but they fail to focus on the most important part of leadership—the leader and his or her character, integrity and emotional intelligence.
Sadly, there is a perception among those in positional leadership that focusing on the character of a leader rather than skills and tactics is “soft” and not practical enough; hence most leaders continue to bypass it. The results are clear: continued struggles, dissatisfied employees, frustrated leaders and chaotic and poor-performing teams and organizations.
In reality, every tactical problem, even though on the surface it seems to need a tactical answer, is ultimately rooted in and can be traced to weak character, leading out of fear, leading out of pride, not being able to distinguish right from wrong, having misplaced business priorities or having misplaced life priorities. Only when we stay close to God’s word and practice it on daily basis, we’ll have a positive, lasting impact on those around us. So let’s be doers of the word and not hearers only, as James 1:22 admonishes us.