The Faithful Pacesetters

Learning leadership from those who led in the Bible

Archive for the tag “Personal Responsibility”

Act Your Age…Not Your Shoe Size

Bible Reference: Hebrews

In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.  You need milk, not solid food!  Hebrews 6:12 NIV

In this passage the author is referencing their discouragement within the Christian church receiving this letter.  He believes they took early steps towards spiritual development, but have since taken steps backwards.

In a similar sense, one must demonstrate continued growth towards their personal development as a leader in order to be an effective influencer of others.

Personal Responsibility

This is an area where any of us can fall short.  It appears there is an ever growing tendency to not take personal responsibility for our actions.  If a leader does not practice accountability, the whole organization will suffer.  Others will soon follow and no one will be answerable.

Emotional control

A competent leader is able to control their emotions.  Worthy leaders take the next step and are able to understand others emotions too.  Leading others’ can be very complicated, but if you don’t meet people at their own level and further develop their capabilities, it will continue to stay complicated.  Leaders start with understanding others and move them into areas of growth.

Collaboration

Once personal responsibility and emotional control are common place in an organization, collaboration can become a valued practice.  Maturity gives us the capability to work together while allowing for free exchange without the worry of being judged.  The organization becomes a group of departments that enjoy working with each other and strive to see each other succeed.

The spiritual maturity of the Hebrews was important, and so is leadership maturity.

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Bible Character:  Obadiah (Prophet)

As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head. Obadiah 1:15 NIV

Obadiah’s warning that he gave to Edom serves the same today as it did back then.  If you don’t treat others correctly and have a low ethical standard, it will catch up to you.   The basics attributes of being honest, fair, respectful, and bringing a positive attitude are often not observed, which seems to be leading to an ever increasing abuse of power.  Sure, times have been worse before, but God’s blessing has also left.

The people of Edom definitely did not respect Israel, which eventually cost them dearly.  The Edomites were really the people of Esau, and they were fighting the Israelites, who were really the people of Jacob, so in a roundabout way, Esau was still being exposed for what he had done.

Quality leaders don’t compromise.

Integrity = adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. (Dictionary.com)

Morals = concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical (Dictionary.com)

Individuals who maintain high integrity and moral standard shine like bright stars on a very dark night.  Their character gives them credibility, which is something people will follow. People will respect and trust them.

Opposite of a quality leader is the one who struggles with “fleshy” wrongdoings.  They never seem to take personal responsibility.  They can suffer from an overindulgence of selfishness, deceit, too much pride, greediness, and anger.  A leader can get away with this type of behavior for a short period of time, but generally they are exposed, just as the Edomite’s were.

Ref: Bible Hub, Obadiah Summary, by Jay Smith, Ultimate bible summary collection.

Double Standards

Bible Character: James (Brother of Jesus and leader of Jerusalem council)

He is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:8 NIV

Double minded is similar to having double standards; speaking one way…but thinking or acting in another way. In the case of the scripture James is referring to those who ask for the Lord’s forgiveness…but don’t have the real belief to receive it.

In leadership you cannot have it both ways either. It’s difficult for people to embrace the principles that are maintained by the organization, if not all are held to the same standards.

Do As I Say…Not As I Do

Why do we put clear, defined expectations on our staff, but then sometimes don’t hold ourselves to those same expectations? Obviously leadership has different responsibilities and sometimes needs certain flexibilities to perform the job, but the freedom of a leader used wrongly can quickly turn into a misuse of power.

It’s similar to having freedom in Christ; we don’t have immunity from the consequences of misusing the privilege of self-governance.

Favoritism

Here is another morale killer, the double standard of showing partiality to certain individuals. Let’s be honest…sometimes we regard certain individuals more highly than others in the workplace.

When we’re inconsistent with our expectations of certain staff members, the others will quickly notice. Treating those co-workers differently because we have a greater “like” for them will certainly have negative consequences.  The biggest complication with this practice is the decay of trust among the other staff.

Referring back to the verse in James 1, God does not place his trust in those individuals who speak one way, but think another. Consistency in the way we think, speak, and treat all staff members is a vital ingredient to positive leadership.

Protecting Our Gifts

Bible Character:  Samson (Judges 13-16)

God granted Samson supernatural strength.  Strength was his gift, and he used it to defeat the Philistines and become a hero among the Israelites.  Even though he was gifted in some areas, Samson also had vulnerabilities.

What is your strength?  Whatever your area of expertise is, it’s important to be strong and knowledgeable in that field, using this gift in an appropriate and ethical way. 

Leaders are often afforded much liberty.  Similarly, Samson received a lot of power in his lifetime.

We sometimes see individuals with authority misuse their influence, participating in activities that are unbecoming, and consequently losing much that they have gained.

How are we as leaders protecting ourselves from these allurements and traps?

Understand the Rules

A tendency of all of us can be to look at the “gray areas” of our life and push beyond the boundaries.  Self-discipline is a key to any good leader knowing, and staying, within the limits.   Standards are high for leaders and attention to them is important.

Ownership for our Actions

Personal responsibility has been diminished in today’s society.  Great leaders not only take ownership for their actions, but also the actions of their team.

Accountability Partners

All of us can use a little help in keeping ourselves accountable.  We are all answerable to God, but also designating a friend or colleague to keep us accountable is vital.

Samson discovered the consequences for not protecting his gift.  His weakness was an attraction to untrustworthy women. Delilah connived with the Philistines and cut Samson’s hair off…without it he was weakened and eventually captured.  In the end, God granted Samson enough strength to take revenge on the Philistine rulers, but he lost his own life in that avenging.

We all need to be on guard so vulnerabilities are not taken advantage of.

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