I have exciting things coming in 2018 that I can’t wait to tell you about but for now let me leave you with this question…
Are you a leader people love to follow?
As 2017 comes to a close, we all find ourselves at the wonderful intersection of looking back and looking forward.
(Don’t miss that part by the way-looking back. There’s learnings and lessons and all the good with the bad; you’d be a fool if you didn’t devote a serious portion of your thought life and let all of that inform you goals, hopes and dreams for 2018).
As you look back and look ahead, I want you to ask that question and I’ll be doing the same.
To get you started, I want to give you a surprisingly beautiful picture of why, of all the questions, this should be the question for you in 2018.
And I want us all to be reminded of our legacies in this picture. That’s what the end and beginning of each year builds anyway-our lifelong legacies.
It happened early this month watching (for the first time) the mid-century classic White Christmas with the wife and kids.
There’s this opening scene on the front lines of WWII and if you know anything about the film, of course, the guys break out in song.
It is the content of this one old Hollywood musical classic that is haunting me… and it goes like this:
We’ll follow the old man wherever he wants to go
Long as he wants to go opposite to the foe
We’ll stay with the old man wherever he wants to stay
Long as he stays away from the battle’s fray
Because we love him, we love him
Especially when he keeps us on the ball
And we’ll tell the kiddies we answered duty’s call
With the grandest son of a soldier of them all
I mean part of it is a satire because they only wanna follow him so long as he steers clear of any danger, and yet we all know that part’s not the picture of real life-hence the satire.
Real life is a battle; you’ll face foes both spiritual and natural-this was true in 2017 like it’ll be true in 2018. The defining moment for every leader is the repeated facing of decisions through conflict. Those who fought in WWII and any conflict since then would assuredly attest to this.
So if you can take the satire for what it is, then it’s: “We love him… we’ll follow him wherever he goes…”
That’s influence you cannot buy.
That’s a leadership built on love.
That’s a legacy of fear-no-evil followership.
The romantic side of me loves the military allusion and respects the character required to attain the rank of General (who this song is devoted to).
The Jesus-follower in me understands the fundamental difference between leadership by power, force, merit, rank or even pay and leadership by humility, compassion and peace-brokering martyrdom.
Which one inspires you more? Which one would you give your life for?
You think the disciples felt that way about Jesus? I bet you they did. Every last one of them followed him all the way to their own gruesome deaths. All for the leader they loved.
Can and will your people say the same? Your kids… your staff… your team… your employees… your church?
Man I sure hope so.
And because I know I’m not there yet, I want to be willing to have the passion, grit and discipline to do the things necessary to get there… starting today, tomorrow and 2018.
What are some of your hopes for 2018?