This is Trey. She was my trainer in Boot Camp today. Don’t let her smile fool you. She makes you work hard and I am better because of it. But … if I were to count on Trey to make me stronger, faster, and better, I’d be doomed to failure. Trey never aspired to be my motivation. Her job was to push me hard but make me remember why I was there. Trey was not a manager … she was a leader.
Looking Beyond the Checklist
We all have checklists in our lives; loading the dishwasher, getting ready for bed, and cleaning the bathroom. A manager looks at all those things and when the checklist is done, so are they. I struggle with this area much of the time when it comes to helping my wife clean the house. I want her to be my manager and tell me every step I need to take. For me to be a leader, I have to step up my game, take initiative and clean until the house is done … not just when the checklist is done. Managers don’t question checklists because that’s when they know they are done. A leader will look to the objective behind a checklist and add to it or make it better.
Self-educators are Always Leaders
I know we aren’t supposed to use words like “always” and “never” but I, personally, have never met a self-educated person that didn’t inspire me. Self-education is much of what is wrong with the school system today. The burden of education is usually placed on the teachers … not the students. Think about a school where it was the teachers job to pour information into the student. First they are responsible for opening up the mind. Next they must start pouring. After a while they are responsible for engaging a student so they don’t fall asleep. Lastly, they are graded on whether they did a good job and if not, then the teachers are reprimanded.
Now imagine a school where the students are encouraged to educate themselves with the guidance of a teacher.
It’s a Matter of the Heart
I don’t propose that you find someone you admire, take on their purpose, and be a leader. That’s a recipe for failure. However, I do believe that we each have a God-given purpose and it should be discovered and nurtured. Once you find that purpose, you unleash desire. A leader is never satisfied with the status quo. It is never acceptable to take what’s been done and just do that or to follow a blazed trail and when it stops you setup camp. A leader is always thinking when walking down the trail about why the trail is good, what could improve the trail, why did it go this way and not this way, etc. When you make your mission a matter of the heart, mediocrity will hide in shame.
Where Does God Fit In?
The Pharisees were excellent at looking at the checklist and following it. However, God never intended the checklist to replace the mission; “love God and love others.” Jesus tore that paradigm to shreds when he told them that even if they looked lustfully at a woman they had committed adultery. (Matthew 5:27-30) The law was given as a tool, not a savior. Only one man lived up to that standard and that’s how the relationship is restored. Jesus was a leader that poured his life into making other leaders.
Where Do I Go From Here?
- Discover your purpose
- Fuel your desire
- Stop entertaining and start educating
- Develop other leaders