Healthy Leaders


You Control What Matters Most

Kevin ThompsonKevin Thompson

Of course God is in control. But there are certain things that God set to be controlled by the individual. You control your character. No one else is in charge of it, and no one else can dictate it other than you.

Most leaders live in a fascinating dilemma. Others see them as controlling everything, but they feel as though they are in control of nothing.

A novice looks at a professional surfer and foolishly concludes the surfer is in control. While the surfer might be controlling his body and the board, clearly the ocean is in charge. The surfer has learned to navigate with the ocean, but the ocean can do whatever it wishes with the surfer. So it is with leadership. Rarely are leaders in charge of anything even though a majority of onlookers and followers falsely conclude they are in charge of everything.

Leaders control far less than appearances lead others to believe. We are neither as powerful nor as in control as many think.

But we do have complete control over one thing – ourselves. God gave us the ability to deliberately choose how we will act.

Ironically, the only area over which we do have control is the one we often claim we do not control. We are quick to justify our actions, blame others, and claim we didn’t have the freedom of choice regarding our own desires. It’s denial; we are fully in control of ourselves.

… for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy1:7)

So leaders want control of everything, but have control over little, and in the one area in which their control is unquestioned, they are quick to claim they can’t help themselves. This is the state of leadership.

Yet the truth is evident – we are completely in charge of ourselves. Numerous biblical stories highlight this fact, and numerous decisions that we make everyday highlight it as well.

The control which we have over ourselves and the importance which character plays in leadership provides a tremendous opportunity.

Because character is the most important thing we can possess and because our character is something we have total control over, character should be the primary focus of every leader.

Leaders should focus on character in three specific ways:

Focusing on character isn’t just a moral imperative, it is also smart business and leadership. Economic conditions can change, work expectations are never the same, jobs come and go, but character is constant. No one else can dictate what character you have. You are in charge of you.

By focusing on character, a leader can get the greatest return on his/her investment.

In leadership, character matters the most, which is good news since character might just be the one area over which God allows you full control.

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