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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fruit Stems From Root

All behavior is fruit rooted in the thoughts, ideals, and values (i.e. worldview) of the individual. Therefore, would it not be the focus of an effective leader to seek change in this area first with little concern for behavioral effects? In a spiritual context Jesus said, “every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Mt. 7: 17-18). Similarly, Paul states, “be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Rom. 12: 2). While behavior may be a secondary concern, the successful leader will discern the heart of the issue creating a barrier to productivity and begin to develop redemptive change to the underlying flaw inherent in the worldview that is causing the problem. As the folks at CCEF like to say, to begin with behavior would be like gluing healthy fruit on a sick tree; for a time the appearance of change would exist, but eventually the individual or organization may find themselves worse as the root issues become increasingly entrenched. Productive behavior may be beneficial for this short life, but my position of authority has been granted to advance the more eternal things of the Kingdom. Character development in our followers is critical as a leader, while preferential behavior may be a naturally occurring byproduct. Leadership founded on behavioral change will be categorically ineffective in bringing about persistent change in an individual or organization (i.e. division, department, watch section). The Law demonstrates man’s inability to change until the heart is renewed. Pursue heart change, lest we “whitewash the tombs” of the Sailors that we are called to lead.

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