Under the Surface!

I’ve observed that many people live life at surface level. We tend to skim through life never getting beneath the veneer of external living. To “suck the marrow out of life” we need to explore the issues that are under the surface. This require deeper thinking, provocative discussions and exposure to new ideas.

One of the areas where we tend to skim is our leadership of others. For many years i have actively promoted and will continue to do so the fundamentals of leadership – vision, strategy, communication, relationship, empowerment, mentoring, teamwork, etc…But of late i have been processing some under the surface core issues that are critical to a wholistic expression of influence. Some of these are:

Mediocrity is unacceptable – Leaders challenge mediocrity, be it in culture, people, systems or organisations. Leaders lead out of a holy discontent that things could be better than what they are. Without a challenge of the status quo i would argue there would not be many leaders around. History has been shaped by people who have spoken out about an expression of mediocrity socially, politically, spiritually or financially.

Spirituality is critical – Someone who rejects spirituality as a necessity fails to understand our make up as humans and how we’ve been intelligently designed. We operate out of our spirituality. The Bible warns us to guard our hearts for out of it flow the springs of life. Prayer is a key to deepening our spiritual walk with God as it facilitates a transaction between the spirit realm and the natural realm. For us to influence the global conditions we find ourselves in we cannot depend only on our cognitive abilities, we need to be infused with the Spirit of God.

Exposure is necessary – Many of us get trapped in our circumstantial bubbles and fail to see the big picture. To innovate we must get exposure to new and provocative ideas. Exposure looks like reading books you wouldn’t normally read, visiting places you wouldn’t normally go to, talking to people you wouldn’t normally talk to. Exposure to global ideas is a necessity in this fast changing world.

Timing is essential – I have learnt the need for timing the hard way. Alot of my early leadership years have been characterised by the need to understand timing better. Timing and leadership go hand in hand. The right action at the wrong time can prove disastrous. The same goes for the wrong action at the right time. The right action at the right time is poetry in motion and is essential for effective leadership. It is accessible through embracing the other ‘under the surface’ issues.

Innovation isn’t optional – Innovation is no longer optional, it’s a must have. People who cannot reinvent themselves and adapt to new ideas and new ways of operating quickly become dinosaurs – extinct! Industry is constantly looking at new ways to further enhance their product and advance their profit margin. Leaders constantly assess where their product is at and look for ways to maximise it – this requires innovation.

Let’s get beneath the surface and start to process life at a deeper level.

Lead the Change!

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