December 12, 2016

What We Can Learn from Our Forefathers

When America’s forefathers drafted our Constitution, they were interested in creating a very different governmental structure than the British monarchy that once ruled them. In response, they created a constitutional republic to limit our president’s authority and balance the decision-making power among three branches of government and the majority of our citizens.

But as our forefathers contemplated our young country’s future, they realized that a republic is great in a time of peace; but if our nation were ever under siege, a structure with so many checks and balances would process decisions too slowly to win a war at home. With this in mind, they provided something in the Constitution called martial law. When Congress enacts martial law, our president is empowered to make decisions necessary to win battles without the time constraints of the congressional approval required in peacetime.

It is clearly important to have the right structure in place for the right season. Is it possible that your current life’s structure was built for a different season, that you have been struggling to reach your destiny simply because of an outdated way of doing things? The moral of the story is simple: if you want to maximize your full potential, you have to discover, develop, and deploy a structure that is proactively built for you.

Structures Should Empower, Not Constrict

In my life journey, I have discovered five main questions to keep in mind when proactively creating structures built for success. These questions are meant to help you process and evaluate the structures with which you are currently living, so you can determine whether they are empowering or constraining you. This is not a complete list, but is rather meant to inspire you to catalog the qualities in you that need protection, and that need empowerment in order for you to achieve your goals in life.

1. Who is leading?  

The apostle Paul said, “I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself
than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment” (Romans 12:3). So the first step to determining what structure will maximize God’s purposes through you is to look inward, and to do so with sound judgment. You must understand yourself, your strengths, unique giftings and makeup, so that you can understand how to be the best leader you can be.

2. Who are the people you are leading?

My close friend, Paul Manwaring, is a great leader on our staff. He leads our Global Legacy churches and network. Before Paul came to Bethel, he was a prison governor for

a juvenile facility in England. Imagine what would have happened if Paul had established the same structure for his Global Legacy leaders as he used with his juvenile prisoners, or vice versa. Frankly, leaders make this mistake all the time.You must understand your team’s level of experience and capability in order to lead them well.

3. In what season are you leading?

Can you imagine trying to plant corn in the dead of winter or insist that your two-year-old son or daughter learn calculus? These examples seem ridiculous, but leaders do this type of mismatching all the time. Read Ecclesiastes 3:1–8 introspectively, and consider what might be your current season.

4. What are you called to accomplish in this season?

What is the mission (the why) of your life or organization? What is the vision? What are the plans for your organization to fulfill its mission and see its vision accomplished? Understanding your overarching goals will unify your team and create focus for the things you’ll put your energy towards.

5. What core values are guiding you in life and leadership?

Nailing down your core values greatly affects the chemistry of your organization and determines who you will be to the world around you. I’d love to share more with you on this topic! Join my mailing list to get a free download from my new book, Destined to Win, on the importance of knowing your core values.

I want to encourage you to take some time and journal through these questions and what the answers may mean for your life. If you’re leading a team then grab a whiteboard and process through these together. Were any of your answers surprising to you? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

 

Topics: All TopicsInspirationLeadership


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