“For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.
He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.”
Do you feel like you are in a Lion’s Den right now?
You have been navigating as a leader the last nine months in the midst of a pandemic that has affected your life in ways you would have never predicted coming into 2020. I don’t have to mention all the ways this may have impacted the work you do. You know that better than anyone.
Based on all the events that have occurred in 2020, I might surmise that you may be:
- Feeling exhausted
- Feeling emptiness
- Feeling a lack of control
- Feeling a need to depend on something or someone that can’t control the situation anymore that you can
These unprecedented times have definitely led to all these feelings and more!
In the last section of my book – Leading Jesus’ Way, I talk about “The Secret” to effective servant leadership.
I believe that it is this “Secret” that can help you rise above any challenges you face along your leadership journey and help you escape the “Lion’s Den”.
I get asked about the secret of servant leadership all the time. Leaders want to know the one key thing they should zero in on so everything falls into place. They’re usually thinking about things that servant leaders regularly focus on such as:
- Is it the Foundation? Is defining your purpose, values, and vision the secret to navigating challenges?
- How about developing and recognizing people? Is that it?
- Is coaching the secret? It’s different from what most managers learned to do.
- Having coaches and mentors is important. Is that the secret?
- What about building relationships? They’re critical, after all.
- Is the secret the hard work of seeking and acting on feedback?
- Or might it be doubling down on making sure I stay present and approachable?
These, and many other things, are definitely important. One of them may even be the spark that sets off a larger explosion of productivity and higher morale. But all of these things are techniques. They’re components of the Leading Jesus’ Way Model of Servant Leadership, and they all have to work together if you want to be a successful leader. But they’re not the secret.
Whatever happens, great faith-based servant leaders know that they are being propped up each day with the Lord’s strength, wisdom, and guidance, and they lead accordingly. The secret is how they call on the Lord for strength, for wisdom, and for guidance. The secret is prayer.
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
I know this from personal experience. My secret, and what I lean on every day—in fact, continually throughout each day—is prayer. Without asking for God’s guidance, strength, wisdom, and discernment, I could not begin to be effective in any of these areas. You have to invite Jesus into your journey every day.
Leadership is a tall task, with an extreme amount of responsibility and accountability. Throw in a pandemic and it is that much more difficult. I have found that inviting Jesus to help guide your activities as a leader is key to effectively serving others. Thinking about others above and beyond yourself is unnatural for most of us. That’s a big reason we need God’s help and guidance, and why I make prayer a regular part of my life.
Before I get in front of anyone in a training session, I ask for God’s guidance to bring the words that will provide the necessary instruction for the completion of His will. Before every coaching session I conduct, I ask God to clear my head of my agenda, and focus on the agenda of the person I am coaching. I ask God to help me to partner and listen at a level that will allow me to help advance his or her agenda in an accelerated fashion.
Well, God is there for you too. Every minute of every day. And He will take your exhaustion, your emptiness, and any other negative feelings you might have, off your plate, and provide you with the necessary strength, wisdom and guidance you need to navigate any and all situations. How great is that!
Enjoy your continued journey of leading Jesus’ way!
When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.