One definition of a professional is a person who does things even when she or he does not feel like doing them (probably similar to ‘integrity’). In other words, a professional is not blown about the winds of the moment. Professionals stay focused on the successful accomplishment of their mission and do difficult things.
Many charismatic and popular leaders get into trouble when they cease doing the difficult things in order to win approval or be liked. Politicians who depend on opinion polls to determine their actions do not last very long as leaders. Unfortunately, if you run your management program based on opinion polls or popularity contests, you will not last long as a leader. “The tendency of the masses is toward mediocrity,” said Aldous Huxley, and opinion polls are very poor sources of vision. Failing to do the difficult thing eventually will get you in trouble… Doing the difficult things means not letting public opinion sway you from what your heart, gut, instinct or the Spirit is telling you.
Peter tried to stop Jesus from going to Jerusalem. He sensed danger there, and he was right. However, Jesus knew it was part of a larger Plan. So, he “set his face towards Jerusalem” (Isaiah 50:7) even knowing the consequences.
Perhaps the true mark of a leader is that she or he is willing to stand alone. It must have been difficult for Jesus to say no to people. the whole essence of his being seemed to say yes. But he did say no. he said no to the ambitious young man who wanted to follow him. He said no to his mother when she was trying to interrupt his teaching. He said no to Judas about turning to politics. He said no to temptation in the wilderness. He said no, at times, to himself: “No, I will not run from this, I will drink the cup that is placed before me” (see John 18:11).
Leaders must have not only vision and communication skills but also tremendous personal resolve. While leaders attract followers, at any moment they must be able to walk away from them, lest they become followers themselves. Jesus did difficult things.
Are you willing to do them,
even if it means standing alone?
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.