Planning for Personal Victory

In the 21st century, people are coming more and more cynical about their leaders. It has become a new sport; find new ways to malign him or her if you don’t agree with their policies. You can do it to their face or behind their backs. It does not matter which context: a corporation, a church, or a country.

On the other hand, people tend to be followers. The vast majority of people will follow someone who will lead them to victory. These leaders have a proven history of victory. They succeeded in the past and have a good plan for the future. This is all from John Maxwell’s book called the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

Or US Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin who teach that there are no bad teams, only bad leaders. In their book Extreme Ownership, Willink and Babin tell the story from a BUD/s class (SEAL training) about two boat crews. These crews carried heavy boats along the beach, into the surf, and row and then come back – all in timed races. One boat consistently won and one consistently lost. The losing team leader blamed everyone else but himself. The instructors decided to switch leaders. It was an amazing turn around; the losing team begin to win more and more.

So why not take those same principles of leadership and lead yourself to a personal victory? You can overcome your “issues” (better described as sin). Now, I’m not talking about self-help or narcissism. It is not about pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. There are going to be strongholds where even applying the best leadership principles will not help.

I have to be honest though. There are things I still struggle with after ten, fifteen years. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. Like anger and dealing with my temper; sometimes I am very forgiving and other times all I think are ways to take revenge on very petty slights. I have never dealt with substance or alcohol abuse but there are other things just as deadly: sins of pride and arrogance. One word: Strongholds.

When I think about strongholds in my life, I think about the story of Jericho. The story is found in the OT book of Joshua chapter 6. Most people know the general narrative: about the Israelites walking around the city in silence for six days, about the Jews blew trumpets on the sixth day, and how the walls miraculously fell down. Secular materialists deny the miracle while Christian authors defend it and even spiritualize it. Regardless of what your stance on what did happen, Jericho represents a stronghold, a fortress that must be destroyed before future progress can happen.

I’ll talk more about the siege in a future post and what we can learn from it.

3 thoughts on “Planning for Personal Victory

  1. Bylines from books like Maxwell’s always tick me off. I don’t think the book or the ideas presented within are bad, but having the byline be “Follow them and People will Follow You” just smacks of power grabbing, selfishness and a lust for power over others. Whether the book promotes such ideas or not, that is how it comes across and as such I tend to skip books like that.

    1. I can understand your point about leadership being about grabbing power, but that’s not true leadership. Maxwell starts with what he calls the Law of the Lid: your leadership potential is capped by your own personal competence. After reading his explanation, I find it actually both humbling and freeing at the same time. Humbling because it is a reminder to think soberly of yourself – neither bragging or self-deprecating. Freeing because it reminds me what i can do, i ought to.

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