Here to There (With People)

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I’ve always heard it said that leadership is moving people from here to there.

I agree. Leadership is about seeing a vision of what’s possible, making a case for why an organization, church, business, or group of people canNOT stay here, and leading people to the vision of THERE.

However, there is a dark side I’ve seen play out too many times: It’s possible to achieve a vision while leaving people in your wake. 

In the name of a vision and moving people here to there, it’s quite possible to plow the very people you are called to lead along the way. Leave them in your wake. Crush their spirits. Use them, abuse them, and move on without them.

Sure, there are always a certain percentage of people who simply will not come along for the ride from here to there. Usually, they’ll self-select. They aren’t interested. They don’t have what it takes. They don’t have the skills or talents to keep up. Maybe, they just don’t believe in the vision.

But, there are a number of organizations, businesses and even churches who will do whatever it takes – even if that means leaving people in their wake – to achieve a vision.

That’s why, my personal mission statement is this: Lead people to achieve a God-inspired, compelling vision together.

Personally, I don’t want to be a leader who moves (X) from here to there without people. God has called me to love people, and I want to lead those people with a self-sacrificing love.

Trust me, this is not easy. It’s not easy to place love above the vision. I’m an achiever. I want to accomplish. I will, if not careful, leave people in my wake in the name of a vision.

But that’s not who I want to be. I don’t want to plow over people. I want to till the soil, prepare it, plow away the obstacles so that the very people who I am called to love and lead have the ability to follow closely behind. I want to lead people to achieve a God-inspired, compelling vision TOGETHER.

Leaders: Don’t leave people in your wake. Sacrifice for them, clear the way, and make it easier for them to follow. But always make sure you do it together.

It Starts With Me (You)

I made my way into Caribou Coffee yesterday on a snowy, blustery morning.

When I arrived, I saw three dads I know older than myself (not much older, but older) meeting together. They were talking about life and studying the bible. When they were done, they finished up by praying for one another.

I thought about their families: They all have beautiful and devoted families. All of their kids are leaders within our youth ministries. They each have older sons who are becoming men. And it struck me: When it comes to life, leadership, ministry, or family, it starts with you.

We all possess dreams of leading growing ministries.
We all possess dreams of leading healthy and devoted families.
We all possess dreams of being world changers or life givers to those around us.

Sometimes we think the answer is found in a new strategy or concept, or a new practice or discipline.

While some of the answers may be found there, I can promise it always starts with you. It starts with me.

Sure, there will be days, weeks, and years where our ministries, families, and lives around us will go haywire EVEN when we are modeling the right way. But if we want the kind of families, ministries, or lives to be the ones that best reflect God’s plan of redemption and beauty, it will always start with us.

Just like the dads who are climbing out of bed in the early, snowy mornings to model something for their families, I want to be the kind of man who models and lives it first.

What can you do today to START WITH YOU?