What does it take to be a good leader? Do you have any ideas? If so I would love to to hear what you have to say. I’ve been asking myself this question, as of late, and I have thought about much, but one thought as of late has been sticking. I don’t know that it is a concrete leadership idea/thought, but more of a life thought, that helps one lead. Here it is – a leader, especially, needs not be a blind optimist, nor a fatalistic pessimist, but a hopeful, expectant realist. It’s funny growing up, as soon as a learned the word pessimist, I gave my dad a hard time calling him a pessimist, and to that he would respond with, “No, no, no I’m not a pessimist, I am a realist.” In reality, like my father, I am a realist that has a tendency to lean towards the pessimistic side of things, but God has been doing something over the last 9+ years. Largely, He chased me down with his relentless love, when I was running hard the other way, and with that a new hope emerged in my life.
See upon Jesus bringing me into relationship, hope broke into my life in a new way, afresh, but it has taken, and will continue to take, years to become deeply rooted in whom I am. But I’m up for the journey towards hope! Nonetheless, hope needs to affect the way I live, and lead. You can’t miss hope throughout the pages of the Bible:
But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. Psalm 71:14
Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. Acts 2:26
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? Romans 8:24
Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:7
I think you get the idea. A search for the word “hope” is pretty staggering. It must shape the way we live and lead. If I am, indeed, a Christ-follower, then I must have hope. Hope that transcends the junk of this world. Hope that transcends the sin-wrecked world we live in. In my journey of hope, I cling to the empty tomb. See in the empty tomb we, as Christ-followers, have a hope that can’t be shaken. No matter how bleak, how dark the situation my look, I doubt it can look worse than what laid before the empty tomb – fear, being abandoned, every hope that was once had was dashed, condemnation, hate, ugliness and death. Nothing that comes to your life, or my life, can be worse that what laid on the other side of the empty tomb! So are you struggling today with life, leading or etc.? Look to the reality of the empty tomb. Cling to it, when every part of you screams, “No, no there is no hope!” It gives us hope. Hope.
As a leader, i need to allow this hope to shape me, the way I live and my leadership. I need to cling to hope, when every part of me say, “No let’s check out.” When that my flesh is screaming that, I choose hope. I chose having an expectant heart that clings to the fact that from any dark or ugly situation God can indeed bring beauty, after all that is the essence of redemption! As you lead does hope shape you? Are you expectant? Or do you believe the lies and fall into fatalistic pessimism?
I almost forgot to add my thoughts about the ‘realist’ part of what I said earlier. This in no way, undoes what I just said about hope or being expectant, but it is a reality that we live in a sin-wrecked world, and you and I add to that sin-wreckedness more than we could ever imagine! With this reality, we need to be realist that we are indeed jacked up people, needing redemption and the empty tomb in our lives! What this means, for the leader, is that people will let you down, they will disappoint you and adversely you as a leader will do the same, but this is where the hope comes in. It’s cyclical. I’m a realist rooted in hope and a hope-filled Christ-follower, and leader, that is still grounded and realizes what world I live in. I wonder what my life would look like, how I would lead if this were to really break into my heart? What would your life look like? Here’s to hope!