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Being a leader you oftentimes get into a position where you either have to, or need to, make a difficult decision. And you know your decision will effect others around you – perhaps positively, but also negatively.  The most important action to take at that moment is to stand by your decision, it may be uncomfortable, or uneasy, but stand by it.  However, the only time you EVER retract a decision is when pride, arrogance or selfish ambition is your driving force in making the decision. Otherwise, stand hard, tall and true to the convictions of your soul. If your tough decision is based around what God has put into your heart, you will convey that message to others in a humble, caring and heartfelt way and in a non-threatening fashion.

It is lonely at the top, and after your decision has been made their will be a “moment” (if you will) that it will be only you. Sure you might have some close friends and family with you, but just for awhile, you will be on your own… that is the time to get closer to God. For those leaders, in whatever capacity of life: be strong…, be courageous…., be who God wants you to be.

To live is to make decisions.  We all know that.  Some of those decisions are as simple as deciding whether to have French or Italian dressing on a salad.  But other decisions like whether to get married, change a job, move to another part of the country, or go back to school, are tougher.  They are complex, involve other people, and have life changing impact.  Aristotle wrote, “It is hard at times to decide what sort of thing one should choose—and still harder to abide by one’s decision.”

Some decision making may be linked to your personality.  Some people, for example, are risk-takers who make decisions quickly and are willing to abide by the consequences.  Others are more insecure, hesitant people who fear making mistakes, want to be sure before making any commitments and, as a result, avoid making decisions for as long as possible.

There can be several reasons why people have difficulty making decisions.  Sometimes we are afraid of making the wrong choice or making a decision that might not be pleasing to God.  At times, we don’t have enough information to make a wise decision.  At other times, we may be overwhelmed with all of the possible outcomes of a decision, so we delay taking action.  The problem of deciding is compounded when the decision maker is given conflicting advice by equally respected people.  As a result, we struggle for a long time and don’t take action.  There is no more miserable human being than the one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, according to psychologist William James.

Making difficult decisions is never easy but the Christian begins with an awareness that God is the only ultimate source and giver of wisdom (Prov. 2:6).  He will give wisdom to those who seek his guidance (Prov. 3:5-6, 4:11, Ps. 32:8).  For this reason, prayer and knowledge of the Scriptures are crucial for decision makers and their counselors.

A simple, helpful approach to decision making involves dividing a page of paper into columns, one for each of the alternatives, then listing the pros and cons for each decision in the appropriate column.  This puts the issues in front of the decision maker and helps clarify the alternatives.

Questions such as the following can also help.  Consider writing your answers on paper so that they can be added to or consulted again later.

  1. Is each alternative consistent with Biblical teaching and likely to honor Christ?
  2. Are the alternatives consistent with my life goals?
  3. Which alternative makes the best use of my abilities, past experiences, interests, training, and spiritual gifts?
  4. What do other people (who are in a position to know) think about each alternative?
  5. Is each alternative feasible in terms of my time, finances, schedule, energy, etc.?
  6. How (if at all) will my marriage and family be influenced by the decision?
  7. How (if at all) will my career and work be influenced by my decision?
  8. How (if at all) will my spiritual life be influenced by the decision?
  9. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative?
  10. Do I have any inner feelings about what should be done?
  11. Are there good reasons for delaying this decision temporarily?  Some decisions, such as the decision to get married or to change one’s career, are best made after taking the time to deliberate carefully.  A delay in making decisions doesn’t always mean you’re procrastinating.

And what if you answer all these questions but still don’t know what to do?  Consider taking a tentative step in one direction.   Just as it is easiest to steer a vehicle that is moving, so God may make his guidance felt when we take tentative steps in whatever direction we think might be best.

Here are a few areas to consider that are consistent with 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 as you reflect on leading yourself.

  1. My gifts. How am I doing at leading myself to know my gifts, stay within my limits, and develop those gifts to their highest, God-pleasing potential?
  2. My character. How am I doing at leading myself to be a person of integrity who follows through on promises made and is a person that others can trust?
  3. My purity. How am I doing at being careful of what my eyes see, my ears hear, and my mind thinks about? How are my relationships with members of the opposite sex? Do I have guidelines, safeguards, and appropriate and honest accountability?
  4. My pride. How am I doing at keeping Christ at the center? Am I the hero of my own stories? Do the words I speak communicate an attitude of arrogance and superiority, or am I characterized by humility and teachability?
  5. My pace. How am I doing at leading myself in the use of my time? Is my schedule writing checks my body can’t cash? Am I going at an unbalanced pace that is digging myself, and those whom I lead, an early grave? Do I have a biblical view of work and leisure, or am I a workaholic who gets a sense of self-worth based on my work?
  6. My finances. How am I doing at leading myself in the money arena? Do I have healthy protection and checks and balances built-in regarding organizational funds that don’t belong to me? Are there healthy audits over all financial dealing with which I am associated? Do I resist the lusting and grabbing lifestyle of my culture, choosing instead to be content and satisfied with God’s provision? Or is my happiness at the door of the next purchase?
  7. My anger. How am I doing at leading myself emotionally? Do I have a reputation for being a hothead and having a short fuse? Do I keep score regarding perceived slights, insults, and put-downs? Do resentment, bitterness, and lack of forgiveness characterize me? One survey I came across revealed that bitterness is the major cause of burnout for men between 38 and 50 years of age.

These are my key areas of “self-leadership.” What areas of self-leadership do you need to focus on?

Twitter

  • The best path to your dream isn't seeking a position of leadership; it's posturing yourself as a servant #humility #bethebest 9 months ago
  • RT @stevenfurtick: From your perspective, failing makes you a failure. But from God’s perspective, your dream may have to die for His plan… 1 year ago
  • No matter how many times you've blown it- there's nothing you could do to make God love you less. #grace #Freedom 1 year ago

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