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A Harsh Reality of Leading Today

By March 21, 2013Church, Leadership

Elegant leader

Here’s a harsh reality if you want to be a leader today.

This is a word especially to young leaders…

If you really, really want to lead…and want to be successful at it…

No one is going to hold your hand.

No one is going to tell you how to do everything.

No one is going to encourage you everyday.

No one is going to paint the picture in complete detail for you.

If you want to succeed as a leader…

You’ll have to put your big boy (or girl) pants on…

And figure it out…

The leaders in the future will be the ones who didn’t demand “show me how”…

They simply get it done. They do the hard work, figure it out, and make something happen. They find ways to stay motivated. They learn from others. They learn from trial and error. They get back up every time they fall.

And, in the process, they excel above the ones who are waiting around for someone to hold their hand.

Honestly, that’s how it’s always been, but it’s still that way today.

Perhaps even more so.

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 22 Comments

  • Jason C. Prater says:

    I absolutely love this post, Ron! In a day where so many people need so much affirmation and constant encouragement to do even the smallest tasks, there was a great reminder. I am all for encouraging the front line staff and those doing the "menial" tasks. But leaders need to be able to look inward for strength. Even greater is when a leader begins to look upward to receive all of his strength, encouragement and affirmation. It's not about us… it's about those we serve! Thanks for the incredible post, Ron.

  • Brent Dumler says:

    Very true. And learning from others doesn't just happen either! Mentors don't magically appear. It takes effort and determination to 'go' and find those people who will add value and insight to us as leaders. Excellent post as usual!

  • Doug Scaddan says:

    Excellent job! I think it's more important now to realize that there is no hard and fast way to become a great leader. The Bible, I think is the best place to go when a young leader needs advice. Much agree to the "this is the way it is get used to it" message!
    Praise be to the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

  • Darryl says:

    No actual leaders were shouted down during the making of this post. Any resemblance to leaders on my team is strictly coincidental.

  • Nathan Artt says:

    Ron, great blog and thank you for all of your insights. The only thing I would add, and I see it much more as an addition than a substitution, is the idea about being intentional in seeking leadership and mentoring. There are a lot of leaders stressing the need for leaders to invest, but there needs to be some push towards people who need the leadership (don't we all), moving in their direction. "When the student is ready, the teacher appears" is a great line, but I think it's something more leaders need to do. I know for me, I have been blessed with mentors from business and church organizations, and a lot of it had to do with me intentionally seeking them out, asking for their help, and being a little selfish with their time, feeling like I could provide a great ROI on the time they invested in me. I feel like their are a lot of leaders out their who are ready to invest, but the people who really end up appreciating it the most are those who seek it out, not those who get it without asking. Just my thoughts….

  • Travis says:

    Well stated. Personal responsibility has exited stage left.The current trend, and one I've battled myself, is to blame the situation, the circumstances, and especially others, for poor results. Whether one is leading others or just himself, personal responsibility is key. Thanks for the post!

  • Rachel says:

    Great reminder. Thanks! I think responsibility is the key like @dentinsley said.

  • Caleb says:

    I see where you're going with this post Ron but I have to disagree a little. The thing is that nearly all the great church leaders I know were discipled and led by other great leaders. As a leader it's important not to make excuses, not to blame other and not to wait around for someone else to do the job. It's also important to have mentors and heroes to whom you can look and who can give you guidance, encouragement and help when needed.

    The reality is that nobody becomes a great leader on their own. At some point we all need a little help putting out big boy pants on!

    • ronedmondson says:

      I agree with you completely and most of my posts are addressed at those leaders who should be investing in other leaders. I thought about qualifying that in my post, knowing I'd receive pushback like this one. (Well deserved).The reality is, however, that we've created a generation of young leaders who feel they are entitled. They wait. They need to be spoon fed at conferences and with leadership books. They don't lead because they haven't assumed the responsibility for leading.Yes, we ALL get there by learning from others. But, when no one is feeding me, I must seek nourishment on my own. The world want wait. Excuses are many, but we need those who will seek out the mentors. Find the encouragement. Then lead!

      • Caleb says:

        Ok, just checking to make sure that things were in their proper perspective. I'm right with you concerning the generation of young leaders who need to be spoon fed. They will always be around but I guess that's what separates the men from the boys!

        • ronedmondson says:

          Absolutely! And, they've always been around. Just more so now it seems.A good book is the iYGeneration in discovering more about this current generation entering the workforce.

  • I needed this reminder today. Thanks Ron!

  • @dentinsley says:

    If your hand really is being held, then are you really leading?

    It does seem that there's a difference though between being a hand-held pseudo-leader and a leader that has Godly mentors in his life.

    Maybe that difference between the two is the willingness to take responsibility.

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