As we approach the Christmas season, one of the famous movies on television is “A Christmas Carol”, which features Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghost of Christmas past, present and future. Let me attempt to add a real-life spin and principle to the historical movie idea and talk about what God is showing me. Where would you categorize your thoughts on a daily basis, PAST, PRESENT or FUTURE? I will quickly touch on the past, but would like to spend a majority of the posting on the present/future. Let me also say, that just as Scrooge had an opportunity to redeem himself, at the end of the movie, with a new found Christmas spirit, it is not to late for you or I to redeem ourselves through the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
PAST: We have all heard or maybe even know someone who continues to live in the past. I believe we all have times in our lives which continue to affect the way we think, our view of our self-worth and the way we interact with others around us because of our past. However, some people seem to have a problem moving on because of past hurts, failures or experiences. I am convinced that Satan uses the past of individuals to keep them from growing, thriving or even experiencing God. There is no doubt that the Evil One, will use whatever tools necessary to convince people that they are failures, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not athletic enough, just not good enough, or a second class citizens because of a broken past or poor choices. What a lie! For those who have a personal relationship with Jesus, the bible says in 2 Corinthians 5: 17-18…
9-1-1 Leadership. How do you know if you are a leader or a manager? Certainly if you Google this topic you will get a laundry list of different articles or answers. There are many well known spiritual leaders who have written numerous books on leadership; my favorite being Bill Hybels. I would like to take an approach that comes from personal work experience as well as a biblical example. I have never heard it explained the way I will attempt to in this blog. I like to call this the 9-1-1 approach to leadership. The “9” stands for the 90% that is working correctly in your organization day in and day out. Let’s face it, not everything is broken on a daily basis. If you are a positive person it is easy for you to identify the areas that are hitting on all cylinders. The first “1” stands for the 10% that is not going well and is causing you headaches. Some organizations recognize the 10%, while others do not even know the 10% exist. And the last “1” stand for the up to 10 times longer it will take to identify, fix and change the behavior behind the 10% not going well.
So back to the initial question, how do you know if you are a leader or a manager? In my opinion, if you focus and spend a majority of your time on the 90% that is going well…then I would call you a manager. However, if you spend most of your time and energy in the 10% area that is not going well…I would call you a leader. Managers keep the organization rolling and steering the ship on a day to day basis. They are there to “manage” what processes/policies already exist within the organization. They quickly identify situations that start to slip or get out of whack with what is the norm. Managers have typically been handed a proven solution and told to carry on the way it was designed.
Have you ever felt like God has abandoned you or that His rationale or circumstances for the things in your life just don’t make sense? I would imagine we have all felt like this at some point in our daily walk. I would dare say both those who know God as their Savior and those who do not have had these very same thoughts.
Let me share an analogy that may help put things into perspective on how you may view this differently. I was thinking the other day as I was flying into Cleveland and looking down at the city how different it looks from above than when you are on the street below. We were making a hard left turn, right over downtown, I could see the Key Bank building, Cleveland Browns Stadium, Progressive Field, Quicken Loans Arena and yes the huge Nike mural of Lebron James painted on the side of the building that says “We are all witnesses”. It was a very sunny day and looking down was an incredible site of events taking place and the opening of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Fast forward one hour, now I am in a rental car driving toward downtown Cleveland from the airport. Wow, what a different perspective. My view is limited because of the tall buildings, trees and marketing billboards. There is also the confusion and chaos of everyday life, heavy traffic, pedestrians, long waits at each traffic light and detours due to the parade. I could feel my stress level starting to rise because it wasn’t quite as peaceful as it was an hour ago from above. Life was happening all around me as people busily went about their day. Eventually, I made it to my destination and was able to finish my day.