Something to Say about Leading Progress

“Leading to Progress Takes Courage”

Joshua 1:6-9 (NKJ)
6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

(MSG)
In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”

Question: Why do we need courage? We need courage to be brave in the face of fear. Fear is our enemy. Any kind of fear is our enemy. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of resistance, fear of opportunity, fear of people, fear of leadership. Fear is going to raise its ugly head in us any time we face a challenge, courage is the answer to that fear. Courage is important.

In Chapter one of Joshua it says be strong, take courage, and not fear four times. God is trying to get across to Joshua that Courage is important to leadership.

Why do we need courage?

1. For the pursuit of the dream vs 6
a. Owning the dream takes courage.
b. Think about the disciples after Jesus ascended. They had to rely on the Holy Spirit to give them power to be courageous, most of them all the way to their death.
c. The enormity of the dream can intimidate you (just another word for fear)
d. The enemies of the dream can sidetrack you.
i. Distractions
ii. Procrastination
iii. Personal doubt
e. others opinions of the dream can scare us.
i. The only opinion that matters about the dream is Gods.

2. To do what’s right vs 7
a. It takes courage to be a leader because real leaders do what’s right even when its not popular. Even when its hard, even when no one else is.
b. It takes courage to stick to the plan
c. Joshua did what was right even when those following him didn’t.
d. Think of the Apostle Paul when he called Peter out for his obvious hypocrisy.

3. Fear itself vs 8-9
a. You have to have courage as a leader simply to combat fear. Not fear of things but fear itself. Fear paralyzes, it puts a pause in your purpose.
b. You have to have courage to push fear back when all your circumstances are screaming you should be afraid. God said to Joshua do not be afraid do not be dismayed. In other words don’t let anxiety rule you.

4. Fear of leading people vs 16-18
a. Jeremiah 1….do not be afraid of their faces.
b. Courage in the face of responsibility for people
c. Courage in the face of the inconsistency of people
d. Courage in the face of the complaints of people
e. Courage in the face of the imperfection in people.

Courage is the ability to look fear in the face, and keep moving forward. If we are going to lead to progress, then fear can not rule us. Opinion can not rule us. Courage must be our central charecteristic. Progress is necessary but not inevitable. Someone has to lead to it. So lets lead, and see people’s lives changed because we are not afraid to do it!

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overcoming frustration

Many times in the forty years of my life i have battled with frustration. The feeling that things just aren’t working out. The irritation that I’m trying hard to accomplish something and for some reason it just isn’t happening. The consternation that comes with expecting certain responses and results from people and them not living up to it, or worse, expecting big things from myself and not being able to meet a goal, or complete a task or get the results i was aiming at.

Frustration is a killer, its the step before discouragement and depression. Frustration unresolved steals motivation and momentum from your life, and brings everything to a halt. It opens the door to bitterness and offense in our lives, which lead no where but to negative circumstances.

So what is frustration really. Frustration is the difference between Expectation and reality. You expect your kids to behave a certain way, and in reality they are not perfect. Everything between the two is frustration. You expect to be at a certain level in your career by a certain time, but you don’t make it. The difference between what you expected and where you really are is frustration.

Given that life is imperfect, and there will be many times when our reality doesn’t line up with our expectations, how do we keep from being overrun with frustration?

The common Mistake we make is to get focused on our reality. There is nothing wrong with evaluating your reality, or being honest about it, but if we get to obsessed with it, or focused on it, especially in light of its deficiencies in relation to our expectations we will be overcome by frustration.

The answer is to keep our eyes forward, looking forward towards our expectations, moving forward towards stated goals, thinking forward in the direction of our vision, focused on where we are going, not where we have come from.

Expectations are powerful, we should set them high and shoot for them, and as long as we stay focused on that, then at some point our expectations will become our reality. Frustration can destroy that from happening.

Overcome frustration. Focus on your expectations.

David

Leadership Lesson 4 while training for a marathon

Failure, beyond your control.

I haven’t blogged in a while, its been a busy time. I believe we can learn leadership lessons in just about everything we do in life, especially challenges we face while working towards a goal. Failure is hard for a leader to contend with. We would like to believe that every goal we set will result in success. Yes we will face challenges, yes there will be obstacles but ultimately we will succeed. When failure comes at times we act as if we are shocked that we could fail. The question is not will we fail, its when will we fail? Our failures should not devastate us but teach and train us.

When I begin to train for a marathon, I had some definite thoughts about how I would succeed, and when. I did have some natural concerns. I realized I’ve never run this far, at that point I’d never run 10 miles, but definitely not 26.2. I had thoughts that maybe it would be to much for me, just not have the resolve to finish,not be disciplined to push back the pain, and had I been stumped by those things I would have said I failed because I couldn’t do it and gave up, but what do you do when you have no control of the reason for failure.

I had been training, and we reached the 15 mile mark, it was hard my body wanted to stop but I kept going, I pressed through, my friend Andrew pulled me through. At the end of the run however I got extremely sick. Not just normal, felt like I had a bad flue, I won’t go into the details too graphic, but it was bad. I marked it off as a single event and kept training. I made some adjustments to help the sensitivity of my stomach and kept going. When the next long run came I think we ran 13 and I felt pretty good till the end and then it happened again. If I ran up to 10 or 11 I would be fine but every time I would get in that 12-15 range it would happen again. The marathon date we were shooting for was getting closer and closer and we were not able to get more long runs in so we had to wait and we missed the mark.

I was very upset, I thought I could deal better with just not being able to cut it rather than being stopped by something I couldn’t control. So what do you do when you fail, because of something that’s not your fault, or out of your control.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned.

1. You are only a failure if you give up entirely.
I am going to a sports doctor after first of the year see why my body is reacting this way and what I can do about it.

2. Reset the goal, missing one goal is not the end of the world.
I said I was going to be in the best shape of my life before I turned 40, well 40 has come and gone, and I didn’t make the marathon, however, I’ve never been able to run 15 miles before in my life.

3. Celebrate the accomplishments on the way to the goal.
Even though I didn’t reach the marathon yet I have overcome weight barriers, fear barriers, and I can run over 10 miles consistently.

4. Be a learner.
Serious goals require you to learn about what it takes to reach them, and knowledge goes a long way towards success. Avoiding the hard questions only paralyzes you from future success.

5. Taking more time is not a crime.
Its funny the tricks that time plays on our minds. Sometimes we just need more time. Its ok to take it. How many people have not hit a goal in the time they thought they should and just quit all together, think of how ridiculous that is. What shame is there in pushing the time back in order to succeed.

6. If there is something you can do, do it, if there’s not move on and don’t obsess.
Failure can put your entire life on hold if you obsess over it. I read an article on Michael Jordan once and he said one reason players aren’t well rounded is because they obsess over failures. If they make a mistake on the offensive end then they are thinking about it on defensive end and make another. He said, “if I make a mistake, I say to myself, I won’t do that again, and then I forget about it.”. Do what you can, then move on.

So I am continuing to run and train, I am gaining knowledge about my situation, and I am taking the time and setting a new goal.

Hope this helps, failure is only final if you give up, its just the beginning if it becomes your teacher.

David