When I worked in business, one of my roles was to lead teams to come up with system requirements to automate Boeing, a large defense and aerospace company. I was there for ten years. My Mom used to ask, "You lead teams of men? How can you do that?"
Quite honestly, I needed to earn money. But the truth about good leadership is that it requires listening to the team. There was no way I could tell the team how to do their jobs. But with faith, and prayer, I was able to ask the right questions and document requirements. I always got the job done. The guys lovingly called me, "Mad dog." It still makes me laugh because I have a high pitched squeaky voice and am not the mad dog type hahaha.
I never forgot how effective listening is in leadership. It's about standing up against rudeness and letting everyone have a say. It's about allowing the experts to come up with world class ideas (without killing each other). People really appreciate that. At one point one of the guys said, "Why don't we just say we did this and don't?"
I panicked and prayed. The words spilled out of my mouth, "This is America, with freedom comes responsibility. We owe it to our managers to do the job right."
One of the guys stood up and said, "We shouldn't even be asking such a question."
I envisioned the American flag waving in the conference room. We went on to finish the job.
What made me feel successful was when I saw the pride on the faces of my team members as we finished projects and solved problems. I was just the facilitator for these guys.
So when I heard Romney, in the debate, say he would reach across the aisles in Congress. And allow people to speak, I smiled. Obama insisted you have to tell people what to do. But I know the difference between dictating and disabling, and allowing people to do the job. I've seen it first hand. The agenda must be clear. The details need to be sorted out by our Representatives, Senators and the President. This is America, with independence comes responsibility. They owe it to our people to represent us well, listen to us and do a good job.
The story of how Jesus fed the 5000 is a great example of leadership. Naturally Jesus is the best all-time leader. He always included the disciples. They needed to learn the truth so they could carry on with His work to build the Church. Also, God has always loved people. He became the sacrifice for our sin. It makes sense He would want to be with people face to face. The only time He didn't bring the disciples along was when He was crucified.
1…Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. 3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.
5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.”
It makes me wonder if Jesus heard tummies growling or if He just knew they were hungry. He always knows what we need even if it's not exactly what we want.
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.
He listened to ideas. He provided their needs and there were leftovers! Jesus started small with 5 loaves and 2 fish. There are many uncertainties in our world today. But, we can be sure Jesus will supply our needs. Nothing is impossible for Him.
12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” 15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
Becoming a human king wasn't Jesus' agenda. He became the King of Kings, our Savior. He didn't allow His agenda to be changed.
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