Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Faith, Patience and Vision in Leadership

The old saying, ‘You can lead the horse to water but you can’t make it drink,’ has proper relevance to the life of the teacher--and most of us have ‘teaching’ roles. We ask people or tell them to do this or that, yet for some, it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

It is easy to throw our hands in the air and live with gasps and sighs--that is instinctual, but it is not right.

As a leader, parent, coach, manager or adviser we’re placed in a position of trust; to discharge the duties of the role in a way that nurtures the growth of the person or group we lead, in faith.

This faith mostly requires trust in things we can’t see. For when our patience is most sorely tested we need to come back to the fact that at any time, the growth journey can take a positive twist. This often happens, ironically, past the ‘giving-in’ point.

Life is a process of growth. In a sense, we never get there, but in another sense we do grow to conquer those things thought difficult, even impossible at some earlier stage. Looking at it from this point backwards helps us act faithfully.

Having faith in those we lead and teach is perhaps the hardest journey to make. It’s the acknowledgement that we cannot control things or people and that our collective progress depends on faith, belief, resilience and staying power.

The visionary in each of us can see beyond what is right before our eyes... the vast possibilities, not the present reality.

One day, this group or individual we’re leading or teaching will be in the same role as us. And how will they lead? What will they have learned from us--what model will we have provided them?

Will they act faithfully… patiently?

Patience is the hardest journey but it is full of reward. Make a commitment to patience today.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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