Friday, September 27, 2013

How Great We Are

When you have a huge win or achieve something great do you take all the credit?  Do you share it with co-workers and friends involved in the project?

What about God?  Do you share the credit with Him?  Do you thank Him for making the achievement happen?

It’s great to celebrate accomplishments.  But let’s keep things in perspective.

There’s a story in the book of Daniel about King Nebuchadnezzar.  He’s a great king but he lets the power and glory of running the kingdom of Babylon go to his head.

God, seeing this happen, sends a warning to the king in the form of a dream.  Daniel, a man of God, interprets the dream for the king.  The message to the king is to humble himself, or have it done for him.

In Daniel 4:28-30 we see that King Nebuchadnezzar chooses to ignore this warning. 

“…Just twelve months later, he was walking on the balcony of the royal palace in Babylon and boasted, “Look at this, Babylon the great!  And I built it all by myself, a royal palace adequate to display my honor and glory!”  Daniel 4:28-30 (The Message)

Wrong thing to say!

King Nebuchadnezzar loses his grip on reality, is driven out of human company, and forced to eat grass in the wilderness like a wild animal.  Quite a come down for a great and mighty king!

God doesn’t forget Nebuchadnezzar, though.  Seven years later the king’s mind is restored.  Now Nebuchadnezzar has a choice…will he be angry with God and curse Him for ripping his kingdom away…or…will he learn from this experience and humble himself?

Nebuchadnezzar may be proud, but he’s not stupid!  He chooses to use this as a lesson to grow as a person and grow in faith.

“…I was given my mind back and I blessed the High God, thanking and glorifying God, who lives forever.  His sovereign rule lasts and lasts, his kingdom never declines and falls.  Life on this earth doesn’t add up to much, but God’s heavenly army keeps everything going.  No one can interrupt his work, no one can call his rule into question.” 
Daniel 4:34-35  (The Message)
At the end of the chapter Nebuchadnezzar is restored as king over Babylon.  He becomes more powerful than ever before, but instead of being filled with pride and conceit he assumes a spirit of humility, praising God, rather than himself.

Have you had to overcome pride in your life?  Share your thoughts by clicking on “comments” below.

Are you riding a wave of success?  Maybe it’s time for an attitude check to ensure pride doesn’t sneak up on you.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Insecure Leader...Are You?

I love John C. Maxwell’s statement, “People quit people, not companies.”  How very true! 

We’ve all experienced different leadership styles…some good…some bad.

The quality and style of a manager literally makes or breaks a company.  I’ve known (and worked for) companies who lost valuable, long term employees simply because the wrong individual ended up in management.  Before the dust settled half the sales force left to find employment elsewhere.
If you’re in a leadership role (whether it’s at work, in your church, in your peer group, or in your family) it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re equipping yourself with the tools to be the very best leader you can be.  Your team deserves no less!

What’s one way leaders can improve? 
Be secure in your role and in your identity.  When insecurity creeps into a leader’s life it’s like consuming small amounts of cyanide over a period of time.  It doesn’t kill you immediately, but you wish it would.

The next few points will help you take an internal inventory to determine if insecurity has made a home in your psyche.
  • Do you need to be in control of every situation?  Do you micro-manage everyone around you?  Are you afraid to trust your team to do their job?  Do you limit your team members' freedom to come up with their own solutions to problems?
  • Do you respond negatively to constructive criticism?  Do you adopt a defensive attitude?  Are you open to hearing employees’ suggestions?  Has your team stopped bringing suggestions for improvements to you?  Do you feel every comment someone makes is a personal attack (even if it isn’t)?
  • Do you hang onto resentment?  Have you allowed hard feelings towards a co-worker or team member to creep into your thoughts? 
  • Can you admit you’re wrong?   Do you blame others for your mistakes, or gloss over them hoping no one notices?  Do you have a hard time apologizing?
Let’s be honest, we all have insecurities.  But in a leader’s life they’re an insidious toxin! 

Did something in the list of questions above strike a nerve with you?  Identify the problem.  Call it what it is, then work towards resolution so it doesn’t become poison in your life.  You’ll end up a better leader for it.

What insecurities challenge you in your leadership role?  Share your thoughts by clicking “comments” below.