Most everyone born in the later half of the 20th Century is familiar with the 1981 Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire (Best Picture, Best Original Music Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design + 3 additional nominations), featuring the story of runner Eric Liddell. The Olympic gold medal recipient has influenced many following his days on the track, leaving various quotes and statements in his interviews while also demonstrating them in his life of service. One such statement has proven to be a North Star, of sorts, for me, and the longer I work with industry professionals it proves itself over and over. Liddell said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure.”
I find it interesting how we often set our sights on the accomplishments of others to serve as targets for our own personal goals. Recently, I was having a discussion with a budding screenplay writer who listed some names and awards of seasoned writers he wants to emulate, noting their resulting fame and fortune. In the discussion, the question arose as to what the appropriate goals for a creative professional should be. How does one actually achieve his or her best?
Honestly, I think that we often short ourselves by seeking to merely follow in the footsteps of others.
Imagine arriving at the coffee pot to pour your morning coffee when, rather than receiving the traditional greeting, you are backed against the wall by some HDIs (highly disgruntled individuals) because you made a really unpopular decision, and now you’ve got to dig your way out… As executives and managers, and simply even spouses and parents, many find themselves in this very position at seemingly the most inopportune times, attempting to dodge the questions, stares, and proverbial knives in the back from once-trusting followers and supporters. Through it all, there’s a felt urgency to secure mutual understanding from sound reasoning.
Let me introduce you to one method (of many!) that Jesus incorporated
It’s so funny how businesses can possess all the necessary elements to meet consumer needs, but they fail to look desirable to their markets. I became quite aware of this just recently while on a quick family trip out-of-town.
Decisiveness and communication are key essentials for successful top-tear leadership to propel their organizations forward in a cohesive manner. Unfortunately, that’s not the case on many counts. Weak leaders fail to deliver clear vision, to communicate goals, and to provide direction where they should (See also Michael Hyatt’s “The 5 Characteristics of Weak Leaders”), shying away from confronting the difficult choices and hoping things will pan out on their own.
When working under such a situation, you may be left wondering what your role really is or how you can perform successfully. Yes, mission statements and catchy slogans are great, but when team members are left guessing how the chimes and rhymes really apply to their daily task lists things really aren’t working. Doubts can arise as to whether your input really means anything; distrust can grow; and direction will be lost – killing positive momentum.
So, you find yourself frustrated and floundering in the needful search for details. If you find yourself in such a case, you have several choices to make if you are going to thrive, not just survive, under indecisive leadership: