Friday, April 29, 2011

Believe or Repent?

People don't do what they believe in - they just do what's most convenient and then repent.
~ Bob Dylan

We all live in an endless series of little moments. The character of a life isn't set in ten big moments. The character of a life is set in ten thousand little moments of everyday life. Is there a place right now where how you live is not consistent with what you say you believe?
~ Paul Tripp

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Just Uneasiness - Nothing More

A quote in the article posted earlier this week, Solitude In Leadership, from the book Heart of Darkness, describing the type of leader (the term is applied loosely) that is, unfortunately, too often “successful” (again, used loosely) in a bureaucracy (such as the Navy):

"He was commonplace in complexion, in features, in manners, and in voice. He was of middle size and of ordinary build. His eyes, of the usual blue, were perhaps remarkably cold. . . . Otherwise there was only an indefinable, faint expression of his lips, something stealthy—a smile—not a smile—I remember it, but I can’t explain. . . . He was a common trader, from his youth up employed in these parts—nothing more. He was obeyed, yet he inspired neither love nor fear, nor even respect. He inspired uneasiness. That was it! Uneasiness. Not a definite mistrust—just uneasiness—nothing more. You have no idea how effective such a . . . a . . . faculty can be. He had no genius for organizing, for initiative, or for order even. . . . He had no learning, and no intelligence. His position had come to him—why? . . . He originated nothing, he could keep the routine going—that’s all. But he was great. He was great by this little thing that it was impossible to tell what could control such a man. He never gave that secret away. Perhaps there was nothing within him. Such a suspicion made one pause."

“. . . inspired neither love nor fear, nor even respect. He inspired uneasiness.” These words struck me. I have/do work for and with such leaders. Just uneasiness, nothing more is all that they foster. May it be that I/we never leave doubt as to the Reason and the passion which drives us as leaders.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Leadership Litmus Test

As I was in church this past Easter Sunday I wondered how many people were there for the first time since Christmas or for the first time since last Easter. My mind quickly flashed with excitement to the hope that I would see one of my Sailors visiting the church. Then I pondered and aspired anew to this simple test for Christian leadership in the workplace:

How now shall I lead that should I be surprised to meet one of my subordinates at church they would not be surprised to see me there as well? To put it another way; would one of my Sailors, Chiefs, Division Officers, or Senior Officers see a disparity between who I am on the ship and who they expect to find at church? Would there be Christ-shaming hypocrisy found in the way that I lead those I am entrusted to care for?

My prayer is that by grace the gap would be minimal between who I am inside the lifelines and who I am outside them - that there would be true and evident integrity of character in all facets of my life - and that it would bring greater glory to the Lord as a result.