Leadership is not easy. It is often lonely work but necessary. Leaders are critical to the over all life of the team and/or organization. Perhaps one of the most often overlooked aspect of the leader is their heart. Leaders are great at using their mind in strategy and their muscles in getting things done but the heart is left behind. Heart attention is overlooked because it is never urgent. It never screams at you in the morning, fix me, get this done, must see, do this or else. It sits silently, yet powerfully inside the leader and many times it is slowly dying. Death can be avoided. My brother just had 2 stints put in his heart, how did he know to do that, he felt pain. Pain and pressure are blessings in this case. Don’t wait for the pain and pressure to ask 6 questions that will help the leader understand their heart and bring it along in a healthy way. This post will deal with the first 3, another post will deal with the next 3.
Questions that help form the heart…
How has your culture shaped your view of God’s agenda in the world?
I see three ways to view culture: To avoid it and greenhouse myself and family, to dive in and fully accept or to deal wisely seeking culture’s redemption. I choose the third. Jesus had compassion when He saw the culture of His day because they were harassed and helpless spiritually. I want to respond in the same way. I believe the church’s role should be to act as apostles to the community that surrounds them. As the Father sent Jesus so He sends the Church into their culture to proclaim the excellencies of Christ. Does the culture affect your heart? If so, how will you respond?
What is your life mission?
To glorify God by Deepening my love for Jesus daily, by Living with Allison in understanding and sharpening ways, by Shepherding my children with intentional hilarity and authenticity and by Encouraging present and emerging leaders to be shrewd, culturally redeeming, and world focused. There is nothing more heart shaping than having a mission and not letting it sit on the shelf. Instead, it should be reviewed and pursued on a monthly basis. I call it, “planning your life before the month begins.” The mission will protect a leader from having heart drift. Heart drift is that feeling that comes when there is little attention given to the development of your heart and all focus is given to doing and producing. Do you have a mission that drives your life? Do you plan before the month begins?
What family of origin issues contribute positively or negatively to the heart of your leadership?
Family of origin relationships set the foundation of a leader’s heart. God designed the family to provide the necessary building blocks for every one of its members. If a young man or woman does not know that their parents love them or that their parents actually love each other, it is a wound to their heart. Some kids grow up in homes where parents are actively committed but emotionally distant. They show up for every activity but don’t have the ability to verbalize love. That is half way there when it comes to healthy development. Buck Hatch called this, “Cancer of the soul.” Did your Dad say,”I love you and hold you and bounce you on his knee?” Did your Mom says, “I love you sweetie and spend time listening to you and tickling you?” Did you see your parents saying, ” I love you to each other? Did you see them hugging and kissing?”