The Real How-To for Leaders


Okay, okay! I know it has been way too long since I’d posted to this blog.  Life has been phenomenally hectic. Business travel has finally settled down. Football season is in full gear.  (My nephew is leading his high school division in rushing yards!) I am taking a class at The Ohio State University.  I’m leading strategic planning for a faith-based community family life center. And, let’s not forget this absolutely crazy political season.

I will be honest part of this craziness is my own fault as I always seem to take on more than I should. Then I am always a step behind.  But, somehow I deliver. I had better be careful, as this is not the optimal leadership mode of operation.  In the end, seems the last three months have been tremendously chaotic.  Can you relate?  So today I thought I’d ponder how to lead through chaos. And in my research, here is what I found.

How-to books and YouTube videos on how to succeed in leadership are everywhere, easily accessible  and are very popular.  What about leadership behaviors, where do folks find how-to guides that apply in chaotic times?  While, there are many sources, many mentors from which to choose, today, I’ll propose a simple how-to  from a proven source of wisdom.

Ready?  Here it is.  “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” Phillippians 4:8 (HCSB)

You may ask, how in the world do we concentrate on truth and honor and right and purity and loveliness and good reputations in this crazy, crazy world? Let’s try this:

1. Whatever is true: don’t be a person who believes 1 side of the story. Seek truth always.
2. Whatever is honorable: in everything decision we make, everything we think and say ask this, “Will this bring honor to God?” If no, there’s your decision.
3. Whatever is right: do the right thing.  Don’t do the right thing for this group or that group.  Just do the right thing. Seek wise counsel. Seek truth. Choose the right thing.
4. Whatever is pure: there must be a pattern here – what does the Word of God say about the issue? It’s all there and applicable to business and leading: language, business dinner behavior, team activity locations, movies, TV shows, book content – what does the Word say about purity and Holiness? Seek this and then choose the His path of purity.
5. Whatever is lovely: this is the hard one. Love one another. They will know us by our love. Love is the great differentiator. Love even and particularly folks who might be rascals. Still, lovely – loving – choosing love – unconditional love. This goes right along with #1 – choose to love in truth, and #2 – choosing to behave in love rather than stick-it-to-em so as to give honor to God, and #3 – the right thing to do is to love no matter what, and #4 – choosing love in words, attitude, deeds, thought – keeping pure thoughts of choosing to love someone despite the behavior of others. (Even your boss, or most challenging direct report)
6. Whatever is of good repute – what’s your reputation like? Hmmmm… will your words/deeds impact your reputation? Our reputation is the single most life impacting intangible thing we own.
7. Dwell on Excellence – So you think  your team deserves your excellence? Your boss?  Stakeholders? Stockholders? Family? Community? Then do everything as though God is standing right beside you. Oh – He is! He is deserving of excellence – don’t you agree?
8. Anything worthy of praise – Praise Him, Praise Him, Jesus our blessed Redeemer! Praise Him when you rise up, when you go through your day, when you lay down at night! Praise Him in the midst of trying to deliver a huge new strategy.  Praise Him as you deliver a difficult message. Praise Him as you make the difficult decisions.  Praise Him with each new opportunity. He is worthy of our praise all the time, in every situation. Choose this and see what a difference it makes in your life!  In the lives of others.
9. Dwell on these things – go back to #1

Join the conversation, if you’re pondering the how-to on these what-to-dos, post your thoughts and let’s get the discussion going.

About Beth Gifford

Change agent, business executive, Pastor's wife, and mom having a great life!
This entry was posted in Courageous Leadership in Business and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Real How-To for Leaders

  1. Rich says:

    Beth, great to see you back on the blog! Great reminder for us as well. I liked your comments on reputation. I guess I would add that any favor we may receive from others as a result of our reputation should be used to point them to Christ. I know my life will always ultimately disappoint others if that is where they hope to see the Gospel, but in Christ they will always find an example worth following!

  2. You go girl! I Sure can learn alot from you. Most important I Can learn alot from God. Scripture is there for us all to follow. I am trying and will continue to try every week , no everyday to live out a better christian life. There are strugles every day. Weather it is doing something at work at home deciding what do do with yourself on a saturday nite there are always strugles. now I have a BIG but, But when I seek God I will Find the answer and My strugles fade Just like that I trust in God.

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