Three Smart Lessons for Visionary Leaders

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” Ray Kroc

Are you a visionary? You know, the type of person that dreams up one great idea after another in a sheer hunger to make the world a better place?

I can appreciate visionaries, because I am one. Visionaries are often the take-charge leaders who start NGO’s or lead large corporations, but if they’re not careful, these individuals can end up with an over-zealous agenda producing mediocre results and an over-worked body and soul.

After sitting with the Lord for seven weeks in intentional stillness, I have learned quite a bit about this visionary leading. And if you are one, or you know one, I want to encourage you in a few key points to make you a better leader for your home, your community, and the world.

Let’s dive in…

1. As a leader it is imperative that you are open to correction. You cannot be a one-person show who calls the shots and expects everyone to fall in uniformity without providing an ounce of criticism. You must be open to the wise opinions of others. What then is the solution to this issue? 1) Pray for a heart of humility and a desire to grow and mature. And 2) intentionally surround yourself with wise advisers. You must have a team of smart, God-fearing people to guide you in the right direction. Why? Because not every idea is the right idea. It may need to be voided or changed to fit the need of your mission.

“The words of the wise are like cattle prods–painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.” Ecclesiastes 12:11 NLT

2. As a leader it’s also important that you trust God more than your own ideas. I’m constantly surprised by how easy it is to trust in ourselves rather than trusting the Great I Am. Allow me to provide an example from my own life. I have to write daily in order to obey what I am called to do by the Lord. So, I often think it would be a much better idea to set a schedule of blog topics weeks in advance. Nothing wrong with being organized and planning, but when I fail to inquire of the Lord on what He wants posted on HDD, then I inevitably make mistakes. Because God knows the hearts of the people reading this site (and I do not), there are many times He will prompt me to re-post an article or change a topic. We as Christians must trust in His leading and be flexible to what He desires, rather than solely pursuing what we want. Yield your ideas to His leading and you will be successful.

“Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” Psalm 37:3-5 NLT

“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” Ecclesiastes 127:1-2 ESV

3. As a leader, it’s critical that we are patient. Boy, do I understand this more today than I ever have in my entire life. We must be patient with our ideas. God has given me two phrases that have seared my mind over the past several weeks. The first is “slow and steady”. Take it slow, try your idea out in small increments (instead of diving fully in), and do not rush it. Take it slow, so it has time to produce real results. Anything significant in this life will take time. It’s a mark of maturity to realize everything does not need to happen today or even tomorrow.

“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.” Psalm 37:7 NLT

The next phrase God has continued to impress upon me is, “what and when.” I often pray for the “what,” and He faithfully provides one brilliant idea after another, but I have failed to pray for the “when.” Upon receiving a word from the Lord, I would often plunge right into making that idea a reality. My eagerness to produce excellent results left me exhausted. I was doing too much in too little time, simply because I did not ask God “when”.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

As a leader, may you be encouraged to slow down, trust God, and be open to wise and honest correction to ensure you are going down the right path in accomplishing your goals.

Application Questions 

1. As a leader, do you struggle with any of these three areas (receiving correction from God and others, trusting God rather than yourself, or patiently waiting for God’s timing on ideas)? If so, first commit these areas to the Lord Jesus through prayer, and then ask for the Holy Spirit to reveal specific actions that you can take in applying God’s word to make a significant change in your leadership.

2. What specific decisions are you facing that can adopt the “slow and steady” and/or “what and when”? I encourage you to pray to the Lord Jesus today and ask Him to help you with these decisions and that the final outcome will bring Him glory.

Photo provided by gallerhip.com

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