“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NLT)
On 1 October 2020, I handed the leadership of Cru Singapore over to Goh Hock Chye. I am thankful that the transition was smooth and God-honouring. I would like to share 4 reflections on leading well, from my personal experience:
Leading well is loving well.
When I took over the leadership in 2006, I asked God to increase my capacity to love those whom I would be leading. In following the example of our Shepherd, I needed to learn to let all my actions and even the most difficult of decisions be motivated by love for my flock. Loving well also meant dispensing grace and not keeping score in times of conflict (cf. Psalm 103:9), and correcting those under my charge in a firm but kind manner.
Leading well is leading out of brokenness.
Leaders carry battle scars on their backs. These scars include being misunderstood, criticism, conflicts and setbacks. It can be hurtful when well-intentioned decisions give rise to negative consequences. In the process, friendships can become strained or even fractured due to differences in convictions and management styles. These scars remind us to embrace our brokenness and weakness. We can only turn to God for comfort and healing (cf. Isaiah 57:15) and depend on Him to lead well.
Leading well is laughing well.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come” – Proverbs 31:25 (NIV).
Like the woman in Proverbs 31, our smiles and anticipation of the future reveal our inner strength. As leaders, we must be secure in who we are – our identity in Christ, our unique giftings, strengths, weaknesses and God’s calling in our lives. This sense of security provides the inner strength and fortitude needed to confront and deal with organisational or relational issues that crop up.
Leading well is leaving (finishing) well.
God calls a leader to accomplish His purpose and for an appointed season. We must therefore lead with the end in mind – to finish well. Finishing well requires us to know when our leadership season is coming to an end, and make preparations for leadership renewal and succession. When I sensed that my season was drawing to a close two years ago, I began right away to make plans for my transition out of the position.
As I pondered further over these reflections, I realised that they do not simply apply to leading. Living well is also about loving well, embracing brokenness, laughing well and finishing well through the different seasons. May God grant us His grace to live well.
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