The Most Excellent Way to Lead
I really enjoyed The Most Excellent Way to Lead, mostly because it brings a fresh approach to looking at leadership. That’s ironic, because talking about love shouldn’t be unusual. But in terms of leadership, it’s seldom a focus. I can remember maybe 2-3 books that touch on this in some way, but that’s about it.
Noble really gets at the heart of leadership, or maybe better to say, the heart of the leader. Especially in the church, a leader’s motivation above all should be love for his/her people. Unfortunately, even in the church our motivations can be for lesser reasons—ego, desire for power or attention, competition, etc.
However, those lesser motivations don’t bring with them staying power. It’s well-documented that pastors who stay at one church over long periods of time have a bigger impact. But if you are motivated by opportunity for advancement or by ego, you will likely take an offer that looks like it will provide a bigger platform or get you more attention. To stay in one place, you need to love your people.
As I went through the various descriptions of love, I found myself thinking “this is like a checklist for a healthy soul.” Rather than comment on a couple specific things Noble said, I want to encourage you to do a soul check.
Take the I Corinthians 13 passage, or this summary, and take some time alone. Do a review of your life, before the Lord. Go through the various aspects: patience, kindness, keeping no record of wrongs, etc. Look honestly at each quality and ask yourself a simple question—“How am I doing on this?”
Think of it as a spiritual check-up. If you’re doing well—great. Chances are, you will find some areas that you could improve on. Maybe you will find things you need to repent of. Wonderful! It’s actually good news when we become aware of those things and can deal with them. It’s good for our soul.
I find that it is easy to take for granted that I am doing ok. I also find that it is easy for me to deceive myself. Taking time to reflect and give myself a tune-up is invaluable for my long-term health and functioning.
So how are you doing? Are you being a loving leader, or do you need to make some adjustments? Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book.
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