I’m obsessed with telling great stories. I’m always looking for a good one. One that captivates me. One that moves me. I especially love the ones that change my perspective on life and really make me think.
Every now and then as I read I see something I never saw before. I’m reading along and BAM! It hits me!
It happened a few months ago. It’s tucked away in an all familiar story. In the end of Mark 6 Jesus attempted to take his disciples away to a solitary place because they had been doing a lot of ministry and work. The crowds end up running ahead of them and meeting them where they were going. Jesus, of course, had compassion on them and began to teach them. Then it got late so he feeds 5000 men plus women and children with five loaves and two fish.
Here is the part that gets me though. It’s a small little part but so profound. “Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.” (vs 45)
What I thought to myself in that moment was, “A great leader cares for his/her people.” I realized Jesus tried to take his disciples away to a solitary place to get some rest but the crowds were still there. Then as soon as it was over he made the disciples get in the boat to go away. There is a hidden nugget in the midst of this amazing miracle! Take care of your people and they will take care of the vision. And then I thought its more than great leadership Jesus was modeling it was Godly leadership.
I know there are a million and one blogs, videos, books and writings about leadership. I think it’s because we want to understand it. We want to capitalize on it. We want to grow at it. We want to capture the essence of it.
I’ve asked myself over and over how can I become a great leader and not just a good leader. But I realized what I needed to be asking was how can I become a Godly Leader! Maybe to you they are one in the same, but I have found myself trying to figure out how to be a great leader and miss the Godly part. We see it over and over in history and through out the bible. We all know there are some great leaders out there who lead people down horrible paths. There are really great leaders out there who lead people to mediocre things. Or, they even lead them to things without much eternal value or impact.
You know the saying, “without vision, people perish.” But I’ve seen even with vision, people still perish. It is rather, “without Godly leadership, people perish.” Just read Judges, Kings and Chronicles. Examine the outcomes and impact of their lives. Take care of the people and they will take care of the vision.
All leaders already have a vision. All leaders communicate the vision. Some do it better than others. But the ones who care for their people and allow them to care for the vision are the ones who make the greatest impact. They can build a healthy culture because they earn their trust and keep their trust. Culture will always trump vision. My friend Paul Gibbs says. “Culture is the cement that holds the vision in place.” I think he is right. And I like to add to it by saying, “If culture is the cement that holds the vision in place, then trust is the foundation on which culture is built.“
You see, a slight change in perspective in a great story can have huge impact. Jesus cared for and took care of his disciples and they took care of the vision long after he left them. Why? Because trust builds culture and culture builds vision. That’s the kind of impact I hope to have.