Change your life to be a leader

| October 3, 2014 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Maj.) John Grauer
Plans and Operations
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii


One of the greatest leaders in the Bible was King David.

For forty years, David ruled with skill and integrity. God molded him into a leader who had the ability to inspire his team of misfit warriors to overcome incredible challenges. For David, being a leader was about conquering obstacles, facing adversity and moving forward, no matter what the situation.

Yes, David was human! He failed many times, but it’s the actions he took, the ability to assess, adapt and take risks, that made him a successful leader. Because of his example, we can follow principles to make us better leaders at work, in our family and ultimately in our life.

First, leadership is a decision. You have to choose to be a leader. You decide what you want to do with your life and, even more importantly, why you want to do it.

I remember this saying:

“Look deep inside yourself and find out what your passion really is.”

What gives you life? Are you afraid of going after what you truly want, because you might fail?

“Leadership is about seeing possible solutions in the everyday problems of life”

Second, leaders communicate their goals. This is simple; tell your associates, your subordinates, your friends, place it on a screen saver … Set up goals along the way — intermediate goals, advanced goals — and celebrate those goals when you reach them! Sign up for a 5K, half-marathon, marathon — set a goal and train.

Third, have a plan. Reaching the finish line of a 26.2-mile race requires a focused, detailed strategy. As a person who has run numerous marathons, I ensure, before the race, that I have all the information I need to be successful. I carefully read about different training methods, nutrition, hydration, and I study the racecourse. You name it, I’ve read about it and applied it, incorporating this information into my training program. Whatever you do, have a well-thought-out plan and follow it.

Fourth, deal with change. “If I risk nothing, I gain nothing.” Leaders have to be prepared to assess, adapt and take risks (but not stupid risks!) Calculated risks might include a new training regime. I like this saying: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.”

That doesn’t mean to blindly adopt every new innovation that comes your way, but the key is to not to do everything the same old way just because you’ve always done it that way.

Finally, leaders prepare for the worst and hope for the best. In a perfect world, everything goes as planned and there’s no deviation, but that is not the way the world works. The real world is an adventure, full of challenges. It’s these challenges that help us learn and grow. They help us become a little wiser, a little stronger, and a little bolder and ultimately a much more determined you! You will fail, sometimes the challenges of life will overwhelm you and you will fall down, but it is your determination that will help you get back up and eventually succeed.

David faced many challenges, defeated an enemy much larger than himself, sought after personal growth, and continually developed the means to improve his leadership abilities. A study of David’s strengths and weaknesses provide us with insights to study leadership, and to ultimately rise up and become leaders who serve our nation, our family and our God. The decision to be a wise leader can ultimately change your life and it will affect everyone your life touches.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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