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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Leadership Failures of JPJ (& Me)

Here's a good "naval" leadership post from John Maxwell. In it he uses John Paul Jones as the type of leader not to be. He asserts that while he may have been successful in execution of his mission he was careless with people, using them simply to accomplish his agenda in pursuit of his own glory. This is an all too familiar story with many great leaders and the Navy is not immune from them. Most interestingly sad to me is the fact that JPJ never learned, never changed. He was content to continue in his relational recklessness until the day of his early death.

Yet, this is the man that wrote the famously memorized "Qualifications of a Naval Officer." How could this be that he would expound on the necessity of an Officer to be "the soul of tact, patience, justice and firmness" while committing the atrocious, recorded (not to mention the lesser offenses never reported), and nearly incomprehensible acts toward those entrusted to his care? I'm not sure - but, it caused me to wonder if I regularly mentally ascent to virtuous Christian behaviors while functionally forgetting what I previously preached? The short answer is yes and frequently. JPJ and I have much in common. Like, JPJ I remain a sinner in need of a Savior. Only the Redeemer is able to regulate and rectify my sinful brain-heart disconnect in my relationships. Leadership defined is influence in the context of relationship. To be a great leader for Christ you must be great in relationships because of Christ.