Life For Leaders

Life for Leaders is our digitally delivered devotional, sent every day.
Pentecost by Juan Batista Maino, 1620-1625

Prayers from the Epicenter

Even as we are asked to keep our distance from others, help us to find ways to reach out to those who need our support and to those whose support we need.  We are grateful for the gift of technology that keeps us emotionally connected even as we remain physically separated.

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Creation of Adam by Michelangelo (1512)

Reflections from the Epicenter

We pride ourselves on being resourceful, intelligent, and self-sufficient people.  But if there’s one thing that’s become clear through this pandemic, it’s how vulnerable and dependent we are as human beings and as a human society.  Despite our desire to be (or at least appear to be) invulnerable and independent, we are clearly otherwise.

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A woman submerged in clear water

Leading in a Crisis: The Need for Vulnerability

Our relationship with God will help us be leaders who are unafraid to be fully human. If, like Nehemiah, we can come before God with open hearts, knowing that we are accepted and loved, then we will find freedom to be prudently vulnerable with others. We will do this, not for our own benefit. Rather, as Lencioni observes, we’ll open our hearts “for the collective good of the team.” And, I would add, for the good of all of those we serve through our leadership. If my team is working well together, for example, then we’ll do a better job serving you.

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Black and white images of hands blocking the camera

Leading in a Crisis: Honoring a Variety of Emotions

We see in Nehemiah an example of a leader who took seriously the emotions of his people, no matter what they were feeling. He listened to them and felt empathy for them. He did not ignore or minimize what they felt. Nor did he ignore or minimize what he felt. Though he was not governed by emotions, he nevertheless honored them as a leader.

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A gated Fence

Leading in a Crisis: Honoring Emotions

It’s likely that the people you lead are afraid these days. They may be afraid of contracting COVID-19. They may be afraid of dying from this disease. They may be afraid for their friends and loved ones. They may be afraid of going stir-crazy in their homes. They may be afraid of losing their jobs or suffering from a crippled economy. And on and on. As a leader, part of your job involves taking seriously the fears of your people. This doesn’t mean being governed by those fears. But it does mean honoring them and, more importantly, honoring the people entrusted to your care. They need to know that they, in their full humanity, feelings and all, matter to you.

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a woman praying in the snow

Leading in a Crisis: Before the God of Heaven

Nehemiah’s example invites us to examine our own leadership. Are we, like Nehemiah, inclined to turn to God when we face difficult situations? Is it our instinct to pray in all sorts of contexts and conversations? Do we intentionally live and lead “before the God of heaven”?

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