John C. Maxwell’s “Leadership Gold: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Leading” showed up on our front steps on Thursday as part of Bob’s next seasonal reading endeavor for his company. During the commercials of the new Friday edition of “The Defenders,” I began perusing through the chapters since we are both students of leadership.
Chapter 2, entitled “The Toughest Person to Lead is Always Yourself,” states that one of the keys to leading yourself is to PRACTICE PATIENCE. The first paragraph goes on to say, “The leaders I know tend to be impatient. They look ahead, think ahead, and want to move ahead. And that can be good. Being one step ahead makes you a leader. However, that can also be bad. Being fifty steps ahead could make you a martyr.”
I resemble that remark. I have the battle scars of my impatience.
There is a momentum that burns within me that is fueled by several things:
1. A sense of urgency that Christ is returning soon
2. Knowing the limited number of days in the vapor of my life on this earth
3. The scriptures teach that the local church is God’s vehicle to express and give His grace and love to the world
Yes! I am impatient. Yes! It has come to bite me in the backside. Yes! I’ll probably do it again. Not because I haven’t learned my lesson, but because I am consumed with loving little people to Jesus.
Maxwell goes on to finish the paragraph with “Leaders need to remember that the point of leading is not to cross the finish line first. It’s to take people across the finish line with you. For that reason, leaders must deliberately slow their pace, stay connected to their people, enlist others to help fulfill the vision, and keep people going.”
Taking people across the finish line with you is the ultimate goal. Staying connected – check. Enlisting others to help fulfill the vision – check. Keeping people going – check. Slowing the pace – I guess I have some work to do.