Born to Lead

Day 5 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

  We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.


—Ephesians 2:10


With one targeted drop of a piece of an upper millstone from the top of a strong tower, the woman of  Thebez saved the lives of all the inhabitants of her city. Their adversary, the heartless, power-hungry King Abimelech was about to set fire to the door of the tower—just as he had recently done in the city of Shechem, where he’d burned 1,000 men and women alive as they sought refuge in a temple. This woman had no delegated authority, and she had no time to seek permission or approval from higher-ups for her proposed actions. She used her resourcefulness and threw down the millstone piece that crushed Abimelech’s skull (Judges 9:53). 


Resourcefulness is the ability to find creative ways to solve problems. When faced with challenges, look outside the box for solutions. Confront adverse circumstances with ingenuity and passion. See what others do not and know how to connect the dots to embrace new opportunities. 


One benefit of resourcefulness that may be surprising is that it enhances self-development, self-improvement, and self-worth. As you lead, resourcefulness helps you reflect on your current skills and determine if there are any you need to strengthen or develop. All these involve the resolve and resilience of the human spirit. In the book Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, legendary basketball coach John Wooden says,


"Resourcefulness is using our wits, proper judgment and common sense to solve problems and meet challenges. It is using initiative in difficult situations and involves inventing, creating, imagining, synthesizing, evaluating, classifying, observing and analyzing solutions to overcome the trials that life throws at us. Resourcefulness is dreaming up ways to meet our goals."


John Wooden had to be resourceful when he lived in a fraternity house at Purdue University. He had trouble studying because there was always so much noise, so he decided to start getting up at 3 a.m. to accomplish the task in peace and quiet. When he needed money, he had to put his resourcefulness to use again, selling food at football games and selling basketball programs during the basketball season. He says that most people would call this an entrepreneurial spirit, but he just saw it as being resourceful.


Here are some questions you can ask yourself to ensure you are making the most of every situation:


Is there another way to get what I want? If your current plan does not work, prepare a plan B.


Is my desired outcome really what’s best? You may be going down a wrong path and need to course correct.


Who else has the information I need? You may not have all the answers, but there is always someone who does. Find that person.


Resourcefulness is a mindset, and to be successful, you must embody characteristics such as discipline, dedication, hard work, confidence, and willingness. If you don’t know the answer, you must find out how to get it. As Ernest Hemingway said, “Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.” 


In the Bible, we can look to the Proverbs 31 woman as the epitome of resourcefulness. She is described as a woman of excellence in whom her family can place their full confidence. She is a hard-working woman who takes initiative and possesses great strength and courage. She is resourceful with whatever is placed in her hand, skilled in using wool and flax to make clothing for her household. She is a woman of influence, managing her household, servants, money, and land well. The Proverbs 31 woman is both a shrewd seller and a shrewd buyer, and she plans to avoid unforeseen calamities. Most importantly, she fears the Lord, and the text says such a woman is more valuable than rubies.


Resourceful leaders find a way to achieve their goals. They are skilled in thinking creatively, generating ideas, and identifying alternative ways of accomplishing any given activity. Resourceful people are imaginative and can visualize how to achieve the seemingly impossible. Determination enables them to stay the course and emerge victorious.


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Author Deborah Smith Pegues’ advice on Biblical leadership is adapted from her book, Lead Like a Woman. You can read more here.