Leadership is always a theological enterprise in the sense that our most important beliefs and convictions are about God.
Dr. Mohler mentions several leaders on a national level good and not so good. I loved the comment that he made about the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
For the Christian leader, the frame of reference for leadership is infinitely greater. Our leadership is set within the context of eternity.
In Daniel 4 we learn of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, one of the most powerful monarchs in human history. God judges Nebuchadnezzar for his arrogrance and pride, and he takes Nebuchadnezzar's kingly sovereignty away from him. Later, after a humbling lesson, God restores
Nebuchadnezzar to his former greatness.
After all this happens, Nebuchadnezzar speaks of the lessons he has learned about who is truly sovereign, and he testifies that sovereignty belongs to God alone, stating that "his dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation" (Daniel 4:34)
No one can truly thwart God's plans or frustrate His determination. It means that we are secure in the knowledge that God's sovereign purpose to redeem a people through the atonement accomplished by his Son will be fully realized.
Those who lead are entrusted with a stewardship that comes ultimately from God and in the end will be judged by him alone.
We know that character matters when we hire a baby-sitter. How can it not matter when we are calling a leader?
You should read a book or article only for what it is worth. If you find that the book is not contributing to your life and leadership, set it aside. Time is more valuable than money.
Keep a couple of books ready for reading, and take a couple with you as you travel.
Test everything you read by viewing it through the lens of biblical truth and your convictions. Those who would lead with conviction must read with conviction.
We can learn a great deal from the secular world and its studies and practices of leadership, but the last thing the church needs is warmed-over business theories decorated with Christian language.
The requirements of stewards is that they be found faithful. That's why leadership is only for the brave.
Leaders are subject to the same laws, morals, principles, and expectations as the rest of humanity, but the moral risks are far higher for them.
When difficulty comes, and it will come, loyalty is what we give to each other and to the cause we serve. That loyalty has to start at the top.
Loyalty is hard to maintain in a world of no-fault divorce, broken contracts, and collapsing corporations -but it remains essential.
Leaders have unique abilities, but they received these talents and the ability to develop them as gifts from God, given for the good and welfare of others.
It's not about us even though we are given the platform, the position, and the prominence within the organization. The gifts were given to us in order that we might serve others.
Those who follow you know that you have weaknesses and foibles, so let them share in the humor you direct at yourself.
Humor is the virtue of allowing people to see your humanity and your comfort in being fully human, quirks and all.
Leaders know how to laugh with their team, with the public, and at themselves.
Humor must never be crude or disrespectful, but it can build respect.
Dr. Mohler saw an example of this when President Barack Obama welcomed former President George W. Bush to the White House for the unveiling of his presidential portrait. The political tensions were incredible. Obama had run against the record of Bush in 2008, and Bush would be doing everything possible in 2012 to prevent Obama from a second term in office. That's politics.
Humor was brilliantly used by both presidents to humanize the occasion. Obama paid tribute to Bush, and then jokingly thanked him for leaving "a really good TV sports package" on the White House cable system. "I use it," Obama said. Bush, in turn thanked Obama and then told the incumbent president that he could now look at the portrait from time to time and ask, "What would George do?"
Leaders who want to make a a difference, and make that difference last, must write.
Email has now become the standard means of communication, displacing not only the printed letter but also meetings, phone calls, and oral discussion.
Leaders write newsletters, memos, correspondence, articles, columns, and books in order to extend their reach and deepen the impact of their leadership.
While writing is demanding, its rewards are truly great.
The digital world is driven by its entrepreneurial and ideological pioneers and cheerleaders, and they are a multitude.
Cell phones, originally the toys of the rich and powerful are now more popular than landline phones in the poorest regions of the globe.
Facebook, the central fixture of social media (for now), was launched in February 2004 and now links more than 900 million users worldwide. Twitter, the micro-blogging sensation, was launched in May 2006 and boast 140 million users who post 340 million tweets each day.
For many Americans, Twitter represents the leading edge of news and communication.
A teenager with a computer can create a blog that looks more authoritative than the blog written by a CEO of a Fortune 500 Corporation and perhaps read by more people as well.
If you want to influence the future, brace yourself and get in the fast lane.
Content is king.
Your web presence advertises to the world who you are, what your organization is all about, and the seriousness of your commitment to that mission.
No book can broadcast ideas as quickly and inexpensively as a blog.
Learn how to use links, images, and social media to drive people to your blog.
As with the digital world as a whole, there are dangers and traps. Social media can be used for good or evil. Social media will soon dominate all other forms of digital communication.
If you are not on Twitter, and if you are not working and following it regularly, you are missing a massive leadership opportunity.
The old media are tightly contained and controlled by large corporations or organizations. The digital world opens the opportunity for you and your organization to become a producer of video and audio content without the massive investment.
Creating a podcast is a powerful opportunity for a leader, but you can start small.
A leader ready for influence and leadership in the digital kingdom needs, at the very least, access to the Internet and support for a presence there. You do not have to own a computer, but you do need one close at hand that is connected to the Internet.
Leaders are readers, whether in print or on screen. Leaders have a message, and should be ready to use every appropriate platform and technology to get it out to others.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, we find a breathtakingly beautiful testimony to the meaning of time. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
The first thing that we learn about time in the Bible that God created it and that time is contrasted with eternity. God is not bound by time, and he created time as a feature of the creation that reveals his glory.
The Christian leader knows that our time is in God's hands. We cannot add time; we can only exercise stewardship over the time we are given. (Matthew 6:27)
Everything humans build will one day be reduced to ruins, but our lives and our leadership will, in Christ, have eternal consequences and impact.
The leader knows a time to work, a time to rest, a time to plan and a time to act, a time to read and a time to speak, a time to play and a time to fight.
Leadership requires maturing, learning, adapting, rethinking, and retooling. None of these things come fast or easily.
Truth is eternal, established by the God who is eternal. The truth endures, and so must we.'
Leadership, in other words, is perishable. We know that our leadership, no matter our age, is a temporary stewardship. We are creatures made for a specific time and a specific opportunity and a unique stewardship of influence, life, and energy. We have a limited opportunity to make a difference, and make it last.
Time and opportunities are precious and perishable.
The style of the leader is a personal signature. Your tastes will not be the tastes of the future. What matters is that the convictions survive.
The patriarchs and prophets of Israel define leadership by conviction, as do the apostles in the New Testament.
The determination of the patriarchs in the Old Testament: Abraham, Issac, and Jacob all built for future generations. Great chapter of faith in the Bible (Hebrews 11:13)
The loss of a secular institution is a shame. The loss of an institution founded on biblical truth is a tragedy.
If the concerns is merely financial gain and organizational aggrandizement, legacy will not matter much.
The leader unconcerned about leaving a legacy is a leader who will leave the job undone.
Bethany Publishing sent me a copy of this book for review.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., became the youngest member in the 153 year history of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In the process he became one of the most important and prominent Christian voices in contemporary culture.
He is president of the Southern Baptist Convention's flagship school, as well as radio personality, blogger, and sought after commentator.
Dr. Mohler has been quoted in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.
He has appeared on such national news programs as Larry King Live, NBC's Today Show, Dateline NBC, Good Morning America, The NewsHour with Jim Lehr, and The O'Reilly Factor.
He lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife, Mary