I would love to be able to come up with a recipe for “changelicious.” It would be my dish to serve people when I lead change that would make change delicious. But change is not delicious. Most people believe change is bitter and sour. The interesting thing about change is that it grows on you. Change is an acquired taste. Something that tasted sour the first time you tasted it often becomes one of your favorites in the future.
I want to share a few thoughts on leadership and change. I hope there are some leaders out there that will be encouraged by these thought and challenged by these thoughts. Leadership is not easy. It is actually very hard work. You have been entrusted with much, much is required of you.
· Leading carefully does not mean leading cautiously. In Matthew 10:5-24 Jesus sent his disciples out into the world. It was a change for them. They had never been sent; they had just followed to that point. They were put in harms way. They were told there would be those that would persecute them. Jesus gave careful instruction and invested in them, but he still sent them. Be careful but don’t be cautious. Leaders have to be willing to see those they lead take a risk.
· Leading change is lonely. Even when people say they are with you, and they are behind you, they are still behind you. Leading change means getting out in front and being in front is a lonely place. When Moses went to the mountain and spent time with God he came down to find the people had chosen to follow a new god and Aaron had done it with them. Moses had to stand in front and stand alone, but God was with him.
· Lead people not programs. I am still learning this one. People are who you lead. I am a shepherd not a business manager. Leading people is personal. After Peter denied Christ, Jesus led him personally. When Thomas doubted, Jesus response was personal. When Paul wrote corporate letters to the churches he often named leaders specifically. Why? Leading people is personal. You lead corporately better when you lead personally, too. It takes time.
· The goal of leadership is not martyrdom. Leading is often lonely but it does not have to be all lonely. Moses had some lonely moments but he also organized the entire nation into groups that were led by leaders and he entrusted the daily interactions with them. A great leader does not try to walk alone for the sake of personal glory, he just must be willing to get out in front and experience lonely moments for the benefit of those he leads and then allows the leaders he leads to lead with him. When you praise your place of loneliness it is pride, not passion. Jesus stepped out in front and led but he had a group of leaders that went with him everywhere he went.
· Leadership is a gift from God. When leaders think they are the gift from God they’re done. Your leadership is not because of you, it is because of God. Paul understood this as he told others to imitate him. He was not saying be like me because I am the greatest. He was willing to say be like me because God has done a great work in me. He said that because he believed things like he was a new creation, he was the chief of sinners, he was God’s workmanship…etc…
Expect another delicious helping of changelicious tomorrow!