I asked a dad one time how his family was doing. He replied after a short pause, “Well, nobody’s crying. So I guess everything is fine.” That comment is quite common among dads in particular and many leaders in general. It says a lot about how they view their role as a leader.
A fifth question to aid us in our leadership role of Setting Direction is which boundaries will get us there? That is… what drives success?
I picked this element up from reading Dr. Henry Cloud’s excellent book, Boundaries for Leaders. Boundaries help determine what you will allow or focus on and what you will not allow or not focus on.
Along with where are we going, why are we going there, and what does it look like when it’s done well, another what question needs to follow. Namely, what are our current realities?
We need to have the end in sight. We need good rationale for aiming there. And we need to make sure what reaching there actually should look like. However,
Once the overall direction has been set and the reasons for going there thought-through and communicated, another critical question is this one: What Does It Look Like When Done Well?
Now you’re first response may be, “Isn’t that obvious?” It’s actually not. It is assumed, though. And this assumption is the cause of much frustration. Let’s look at why this question needs to be put on the table.
You’ve probably heard the one about the airline pilot who tells his passengers that he has some good news/bad news for them midway through their flight.
He starts with the bad news which he states by saying, “We are completely lost.” He then reassures them by saying, “The good news, however, is that we are making great time.”
I was reading in the book of Judges about a military leader named Gideon. He and his men had routed an enemy army the night before and were subsequently pursuing the remnant who had fled.
As I reflected on this incident, it prompted some thoughts on leadership in the midst of a pursuit. I found it has application for us as leaders today.
Motivating is really about helping people with the want to. The desire that leads to action. Desire alone is not sufficient.
Proverbs mentions that “the soul of the sluggard craves but gets nothing.” True motivation is the desire that
External motivations such as rewards or consequences have an affect on us all and can never be discounted. However, more intrinsic, internal ones are taking on added importance, especially with the generation of younger leaders.
I was talking to a missionary couple who had been working in bible translation with a group of people sociologists tagged as the most primitive tribe in Central America.