On Wednesday of this week I returned from a trip to the UK. We had a Leaders Who Last seminar in Milton Keynes, about an hour north of London, after which I took the train and the “Tube” (the underground subway system) from Milton Keynes to London to see the sights.
I was well taken care of in Milton Keynes; but once I got on the train for London, it was a whole other ball game. The fear struck…what if I got lost, missed the train, got on the wrong train going in the opposite direction. There was a hotel near the Waterloo station and my room was waiting there for me, but would it ever see me?
There was one simple key to my potential dilemma…ASK!
I constantly asked for directions, for help, for advice, for information. It worked. I got to my destination, enjoyed two days in London, and asked for more advice and directions to take the “Tube” and then a train to Heathrow for my plane back to Orange County.
Here is the application for leaders.
“…you do not have, because you do not ask.” James 4:2
We lack many things we need in order to lead well, because we simply don’t ask!
Bad leaders do it all by themselves. Good leaders ask…
- For advice
- For input
- For prayer
- For help
Good leaders are not independent, (despite all the movies and folklore) but dependent.
- Dependent on God
- Dependent on others
The new Lone Ranger movie with Johnny Depp is just out. Even the Lone Ranger didn’t go it alone, but had Tonto. We live in a culture that values the Lone Ranger types: Sylvester Stallone, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. A lot of our cultural heritage in the USA is built on the fiercely independent macho male who rides into town to save the city from the bad guy and usually does it by himself.
In the church, teams and teamwork is of the essence. If you are a leader, don’t be afraid to ASK…ask God and ask team members. As John Maxwell says, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
Acknowledge to your team that you need and desire their input, their advice, their questions, even their push back so as to have the best ideas, not merely the boss’ ideas. Relying totally and only on yourself will result in you being weaker as a leader.
Someone has joked that the reason Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years was that he was too proud to ask for directions. Well it sounds cute, but isn’t true. They wandered in the desert for 40 years because they sinned in not believing God. But many leaders do wander, and at times they wander away from God because they go it alone and are too proud, too independent or too self-sufficient to allow God and others to play a part in their leadership.
Don’t let it happen to you…ASK!