Leadership Letters
Leadership Letters

Writings on Christian leadership and leader development by Malcolm Webber

April 2007
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Leaders Act!

Malcolm WebberMalcolm Webber

By definition, leaders have too many responsibilities on their plate. This is what distinguishes leaders from non-leaders – the ability to think it through and then act. And the courage to do so.

Leaders execute. This is the fundamental nature of leadership. This is the core willingness of the leader. This takes courage. So trust God and act.

You cannot wait for the perfect world. It will never come. You’re in the middle of a very messy one – so deal with it. And the better you do at leadership stuff, the more responsibilities you will be given and the messier it will become. Deal with it! Get it done, anyway!

It will never change. It will never be neat and tidy. Just move ahead anyway.

Complaining to anyone but God is worthless. Deal with it. Take responsibility. Don’t complain. No excuses. Just figure it out.

Prioritize! What really needs to be done? What can be dropped? What should be given away? What must be done now? What can be left for later? How much later? Deal with it. I know it’s complicated – just get it done anyway.

Leadership failure is not just about making the wrong decisions. Most leaders fail because they fail to make decisions in the first place. They are paralyzed by the messiness. They fail to act.

Cut through the fog! Make a decision. Resist the creeping paralysis of the fear of failure.

Are you looking to God for His help in the middle of it all? If you’re not, you’re going to fail! Only He has the answers for the complexity. Only He can take you through the mess. Are you really putting Him first?

If you have to have it all neat and perfect before you can do something, then please give up now. You are not a leader.

Leadership is not for the lazy or the timid. Only the disciplined and courageous will change the world! Don’t retreat to the insipid safety of passivity. Move!

Leaders make decisions. Those decisions won’t always be the right ones. But someone needs to decide. If you’re the leader then that’s you! I know that’s hard. I recognize that you rarely have enough information to know for sure that you’re making the right decision. So deal with it. Look to God, put together the information you have, and make a decision. Move ahead. Don’t be paralyzed by the insufficiency of information or by the large number of decisions that need to be made in a short time or by the fear of making a mistake. Before God, make the best decision you can with the information you have, and then go with it. Act!

Of course, if you later discover that you made an error, don’t cover it up. Take responsibility for it. Make it right in whatever way is necessary and move on. But don’t apologize for making the decision – that’s what you’re supposed to do! Leaders move ahead – they think and act.

I know it’s hard. I know you’re under pressure. If someone told you that leadership was glamorous or fun or easy, they lied to you. It’s brutal. So deal with it. Move ahead anyway. Quit feeling sorry for yourself. Commit yourself again and again to God – look to Him for His presence, for His guidance, for His wisdom – and then move ahead.

Without Him you can do nothing. But you’ve got Him. And He promises to give you wisdom – abundantly. So look to Him. Cry out to Him. Listen quietly inwardly. In the midst of the turmoil and confusion and messiness of it all, listen quietly to Him inwardly. He will make a way for you. He will lead you. He will guide you. He will speak to you. Listen!

And then act!

…How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you? (Josh. 18:3)!

In our next Letter, we will return to the challenges of leader development.

Comments 1
  • Nancy Watta
    Posted on

    Nancy Watta Nancy Watta

    Reply Author

    What a great leadership material! So what am I doing? Dealing with it, and moving ahead.