21st April 2012
The Only Sensible Response – Trusting Teamwork
“…he who leads, with diligence;”
After many decades of studying and teaching leadership, it still surprises me how often those who seek to lead, or have leadership roles thrust upon them, are burnt out by their endeavours, only to look failure in the face. For all their expenditure of energy they have little to show for it. The one thing they have failed to do is lead.
We all are called to a degree of leadership from time to time. It is not just the captains of the military, or the captains of ships, or the captains of industry, or even the captains of football teams. Leadership, and showing leadership, has a role in most parts of our lives. So let’s look at just two key principles that will make our leadership more effective.
The first is teamwork. God has made us to need one another. We cannot get by on our own. There may be a ‘Lone Ranger’ in the movies, but he is truly a mythical figure. God himself lives in community and has created us in his image. We have been created to need others. When we are in a position of leadership we can lord it over others and be a control freak, or we can learn to work together, valuing each other’s contribution and seeing how each contribution makes for a better overall decision. This requires that we have a humble view of ourselves and a receptive attitude towards others.
To be able to do this we need the second quality, trust. Where there is no trust there is no working together and where there is no working together there is either no product at all or at best, only an inferior, flawed and incomplete product. As we read the gospels it is surprising the trust that Jesus had in his followers. He entrusted them with power over demons, the power to heal, and with the job of proclaiming the Gospel.
Trust is being able to let go. Trust requires that we recognise the ability of others in some activity necessary for the good outcome of the task on hand. This is particularly important since we cannot do everything ourselves. Once again we see that God has made us to need others and we must learn to trust others if we are going to be able to work together. Those others may be our partner, our children, our work colleague, our club mate, our teammate or anyone else we should rely on to get the task done.
Father in heaven, thank you that you have made us in your image, that we have been created to be in community. As we face the leadership roles in our lives let us reflect your way of doing things, follow the example of Jesus, and be willing to work as a team, trusting those with whom we share the task in hand.
Study by David Stirk