Weekly Thought – February 21, 2017
Fred thought all the time. He learned from observation, conversation, and interaction. “Associations, travel, and reading” were three of the essential elements in his development program. He consistently put himself in situations which would stimulate his thinking.
This week a Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute team will be on the LeTourneau University campus in Longview, TX “stretching and blessing the next generation of leaders… to the glory of God.” Please pray for each person to be both learners and sharers of life experiences.
Two subtleties are understood by effective leaders.
1) Decisions are not commitments. The first is short-term, the second is long-term.
People decide short-term to work for a specific emphasis; long-term commitment is aimed at the ultimate purpose. Both are necessary. People committed only to the long-term vision and not to specific tasks will not accomplish much. The short-term commitment produces the activity.
Wise leaders know that when they get a decision, even a group decision, they have not gotten commitment. One of the worst mistakes a leader can make is getting a group to decide something they will not commit to. In the emotional moment of decision, you can assume they’re committed, but without full buy-in, things will fall apart.
2) Recognize the “driving wheels.” There’s a difference between people who provide the momentum in a group and those who just go along for the ride. Wise leaders know if they get the drivers committed, they will bring the others. Without the commitment of the driving wheels, the organization moves at an unsteady pace.
The best way to persuade them is not with emotion, but with comprehension. I first heard this from Jack Turpin, founder of Hallmark Electronics. In a speech on sustained excellence he remarked he had no lasting respect for short-term excellence. “Anybody who can achieve that level of performance should strive to sustain it.” It isn’t easy, but it is worthwhile… and productive.
He went on to say that the only way people will perform at this level over the long-term is through complete comprehension of what they are doing. A decision based on emotional fervor won’t last; a fully understood commitment will.
This means leaders must be honest about the vision, the effort necessary, and reasons for expending it. To motivate the “driving wheel” ask the question, “Do you agree this is something worth doing? If so, let’s commit to it together.”
This week think about: 1) How clear am I on the commitments in my life? 2) What are the long-term visions for my work, my family, my community? 3) Who can I help strengthen their sustained excellence?
Words of Wisdom: “A decision based on emotional fervor won’t last; a fully understood commitment will.”
Wisdom from the Word: “But I am full of the courage that the Lord’s Spirit gives, and have a strong commitment to justice.” (Micah 3:8(a) NET Bible)