‘Leadership’ and ‘compassion’ aren’t words we commonly link together. Most leaders are conditioned to put business before benevolence – to lead with their heads, not their hearts. The popular perception of a powerful leader is someone who’s tough, strong, decisive, hard-nosed, ultra-rational and results-driven. The reality is powerful leaders, amongst their other traits, have the conviction, confidence and courage to cultivate connectivity and compassion (Bill Cropper, 2009).”
By faith, we believe the sun will come up tomorrow. But how is our faith in the people with whom we will meet and interact?
How is our faith in our own abilities? Will we do everything perfectly or will we mess up tomorrow? What about others whom we rely on and trust in?
Then there is the question of our faith in God…
Faith carries us forward when human certainty crumbles.
Human certainty is fleeting.
Every time we’re certain about something, a warning bell starts to clang. We begin to question... Are we truly sure? Maybe. Or not. Or yes.
“Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous… who keeps an oath even when it hurts and does not change their mind.” Psalm 15:1-4
If someone asked for your definition of success, what would you say? Would you be able to list the values and foundation you are leading from? And most importantly, do those values you espouse actually pass real-life tests of your integrity?
In 2005 tennis champion Andy Roddick was playing a match against Fernando Verdasco.
There was a time when I thought the words love and work would never be used in the same sentence. I believed business was built on intense competition, boot-strapping operating methods and a commitment to winning. I finished college and transitioned into the business world in the early 1990s. During that time, several of the largest corporate layoffs in the history of business occurred. Terms like downsizing, rightsizing, and other fancy phrases for letting people go created a work environment that lacked trust.
It’s easy to be happy and laid back when things are going right. It’s easy to be a leader when there aren’t any conflicts or disruptions. Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect. So, what do you when the going gets tough? Billy Ocean, a singer popular in the 1980’s, sang a song that said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Sometimes that is easier said than done.
“I can’t believe he did it anyway” I thought, “he asked my opinion, I told him – NO. I didn’t think we should get involved in a new ministry. And he did it anyway.” It happened again. That’s right, someone I love hurt me deeply by asking my advice and then doing the opposite of what I thought was best. I was livid. My passive-aggressive self-preserving anger turned into an erupting volcano of bitterness because I was unwilling to forgive. I was wronged; felt double-crossed and believed my loved one did not deserve to be forgiven.
Has anyone ever asked you, “How’s your prayer life?” or “How do you pray and when?” In my early life those seemed to be more popular questions than today.
I first realized, as a young follower of Jesus, that my prayer life was lacking. I came across a verse in Matthew (6:7) that said in the King James Version,
“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”
Last week we were traveling in places where our cell phones didn’t work. These small devices we rely on for communication and connection, for information, education and even amusement, were useless.
We would reach for our cell phones constantly, almost compulsively, and each time we were startled to discover how disconnected we felt when they didn’t work. It was disconcerting. (And not in a good way, either!) To add to this experience, the telephone land line was dead and there was no Wi-Fi.
In July, the citizens of the United States celebrate our freedom and independence; concepts which are taken for granted often. We celebrate a nation founded on the principles of freedom and independence. In the Declaration of Independence, we not only proclaim our nation free from the rule of the British Empire; we acknowledge these as profound gifts from God:
“Mom, what do we DO with all of this?”
My young children whispered their overwhelmed anxiety as they took in the array of china, silver, and crystal in front of each of them. Our family had been invited to a fancy wedding reception, children included. I knew they would behave well and appropriately since we had carefully guided their table manners over the years. However, these elaborate place settings intimidated us all.