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  • christopherrk7

If you want to change the world, you need to read this.

Updated: Jun 7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

A week doesn't seem to go by anymore without a news story about a once respected leader being caught up in a moral failing. From extra-marital affairs, bullying, unethical practices, greed, dodgy procurement deals and, most sadly, abuse of vulnerable victims, the light is being shone on the immoral practices of some previously influential church leaders, politicians, CEOs and other leaders.

It is a good thing that such moral falls are being exposed. A leader who wants to make the world a better place cannot, in any circumstance, act immorally. To do so is much like driving a big truck down a motorway at high speed whilst drinking a bottle of whiskey. Eventually you will crash making victims of not only those in your truck but also anyone around you.

Having advised on many crisis leadership cases, I want to give anyone aspiring to leadership a warning: With the exception of more serious crimes, nobody is immune to moral failings. In fact, most people that I have worked with, or that you hear about in the news, are good people who started their leadership journey out with wonderful intentions to use their skills to make this world a better place.

The difficulty is that leadership roles – with all their influence, power, anointing, fame and money – opens a person up to opportunities, choices and temptations that most people don’t face. That’s not an excuse but a reality and so, if that leader does not have solid character or they have unresolved brokenness, they are primed to fail morally. The unique stress of leadership will put pressure on your foundations like nothing else.

That’s why, before anybody tries to force their own promotion (which is itself a red-flag), I would advise them that outward reform – changing the world – begins with inward renewal. Do not rush this process. It can, and does, take years to build such a strong character that no amount of money, sex or other opportunity sways you from your responsibilities.

The Bible, for example, is full of encouragement in that regard. Moses, a man prone to rage to the point of murder, spent 40 years in the desert refining his character before he was ready to carry the responsibility of leading a nation. Joseph was a slave and a prisoner for 13 years before he was promoted to Prime Minister of Egypt. And Daniel spent years in waiting before he was promoted to a position of influence.

As a general rule, the bigger the assignment, the longer the waiting period needs to be for your sake, and for others. Just like a slingshot, the longer you are held back the further you will go.

Embrace the waiting as preparation rather than feeling held back, and act accordingly. Do you have any unresolved wounds from your past that impact you today, for example, grief, loss, rejection, bullying and so on? Do you have any weaknesses like a need to people please or a tendency to use pornography or the use of unhealthy substances to deal with anxiety? Do you struggle with anger, fear, poverty mindsets and so on?

The greatest leaders, the ones who really did change the world for the better, did just that. They achieved the difficult balance of leading with pure hearts and skilled hands. Will you?

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