But the obvious question that follows “Why should I lead by my strengths?” is then, “So how do I do that?” I believe the question is answered by one of the greatest teachers on leadership ever, as He spoke about the “HOW” of Character Based Leadership. We find the plan laid out in another passage in the Bible, in Luke 10:25-28. Jesus is speaking to one of the “experts” in his field about eternal life.
Now, without making this a purely religious treatise, understand that in the first century, this concept of “eternal life” was not just something that began on a cloud after you drew your final breath. It embodied the afterlife to be sure, but it also described the richest and most fulfilling quality of life that one could live this side of his or her own mortality. It’s critical that as you read the question and hear the answer to it that you understand ‘eternal life’ in their understanding meant the best and the brightest for one’s life here and now, as well as what came after this life was through. The failure to recognize the answer being sought had implications for the present is to ignore half of the question that was posed.
One other important note… this Q & A between Jesus and the “expert life coach” asking the questions is the preface to a story that may be much more familiar to many of us. It’s the story of the Good Samaritan. It is this initial dialogue about living a Character Based Life that leads Jesus to share with us one of the greatest stories of all time regarding Character Based Leadership. That’s why we it was critical for His followers, and for us today, to understand the “HOW” of Character Based Leadership that He challenges them to. So the stage is set… and here is the script.
“Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. “Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?” He(Jesus) answered, “What’s written in God’s Law? How do you interpret it?” He (the scholar) said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.” “Good answer!” said Jesus. “Do it and you’ll live!” (The Message translation)
Jesus is asked a question that it seems was intended to either embarrass, confuse or condemn Him, depending on how He answered it. But His mastery as a leader can be seen immediately in that He invites the scholar to answer his own question. And in that answer we find the “HOW” of Character Based Leadership that serves as the essential next level to the “WHY” as it’s taught regarding “training up” in the “way they are bent.” His answer shows us the “HOW” and then He finishes this teaching by giving us an illustration of the “HOW” immediately following in the story of the Good Samaritan.
For us to be successful and to genuinely have the highest quality of life for us and those we impact, what we do has to come from those FOUR CORE ELEMENTS of who we really are. How we do what we do comes from our heart(emotions), our soul(spirit), our strength(physical) and our mind(mental). As creatures we can act singularly within any one of these facets. But we are complex beings, with all four of these inextricably woven together to make each of us uniquely who we are. We live, we love, we lead best when we do them from all of the these- our heart, soul, strength and mind- these multifaceted dimensions that when combined, make us who we are.
For more information by Page Cole on Leading From Your Strengths, check out Chapter 6 in “The Character Based Leader- Instigating a Leadership Revolution One Person at a Time” on Amazon.com!
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