The Leadership Challenge!

Leadership is challenging!

Over the last 48hrs some extreme measures have been taken in the Australian Federal Government, particularly, the Australian Labour Party. As many Aussies would know by now, Kevin Rudd has been ousted by his own party and we now have the first female Prime Minister of Australia, Miss Julia Gillard!

I saw, via media, every speech given ‘live’ and it was an interesting and tense process to watch unfold. There is no doubt that politics has once again confirmed it’s reputation as being absolutely cutthroat. Even though Rudd’s parting speech was honourable of his party (yet painful & awkward to watch), he must be feeling a sense of betrayal and emotional wounding from some of his colleagues who under-minded his leadership, regardless of the issues at hand.

Leadership at any level is a tough gig but especially at a Federal Political level. It appears, from comments given by political commentators, that Kevin Rudd left his transparent humanity and accomplishments presentation too late. This tells me that apart from other issues, which we will never fully be aware of, leaders everywhere need to live and lead from the heart, collaborate thoroughly with their team members and never stop talking about the great things being accomplished…if that is the case.

Leading people is bound to get you tons of criticism and place tons of pressure upon you as expectations fly at you from all directions. One of the challenges of leadership is the potential for misunderstanding and the ensuing small windows a leader gets to clarify what they actually intended to say.

Leadership involves making hard decisions but making those decisions with as much information as possible and then with everything in hand, making a call. As much as we’d like to have a win-win outcome every time, the reality is, someone or something loses out more often than not.

Leadership is about inspiring people to move from where they are to where they need to be. Be it in a nation, business, church or family. Leadership that relies on titles and intimidation alone is poorly lacking. Leadership that serves people out of a love for them, collaborates through seeking to understand then to be understood, ready and willing to make a decision even if it’s unpopular, and able to communicate clearly and with integrity the BIG Idea is leadership worth following.

Is Julia Gillard this type of leader? We will wait and see. She has stepped into leadership under bad circumstances and her first speech as PM designate indicates she has strength to her character but is this enough for national leadership? I’m not aware of her ethics or theological position (I’ve heard rumors) but time will tell what she contributes to the health and future of Australia.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 says “First of all then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God our saviour.”

One of the most important things we can do for our leaders is pray for them. This includes pastors, dads, single mums, principles, CEO’s and politicians, amongst others. This nation has a warped view of authority (it must be a convict thing) but we need to pray for God’s wisdom and intervention in all leadership endeavors whether they be in the Church, Education, Business or Political arenas.

Be also praying for Kevin Rudd and his family. He will be shattered and his family will now be cleaning up the pieces of his emotional processing. Humanity can be very harsh and we all need to be a little more respectful and gracious with our leaders who are doing their best in often difficult situations.

Leadership is a hot topic right now and it’s so important that we keep our eyes on the greatest leader of all time – Jesus Christ! He is the author and perfecter of our faith and when contemporary culture shifts and changes, Jesus Christ’s character and teaching stays the same. Stay close to him, keep your eyes on His Word and follow him, for he is a leader worth following.

Lead the Change!

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