"The Great Commandment & Leadership"
Leadership is hard. It’s a difficult calling and responsibility. If I finish my life and haven’t left a mark or made an impact that was significant to another person’s life, I won't be content with that. It’s my “holy discontent,” the term Pastor Bill Hybels has coined to describe the deep passion within us that moves us to make a difference. My holy discontent is to be an extraordinary leader.
Leaders shape human lives and for that reason leadership is sacred work. It’s a sacred responsibility and therefore it deserves commitment and purposeful development.
But what exactly makes for extraordinary leadership? My search for extraordinary leadership was born from this unquenchable passion to be a better leader. While I quickly gravitated to studying the lives of historical leaders and biblical heroes, extraordinary emerged for me in one of the most foundational elements of my faith.
In the gospel of Mark, Chapter 12, Jesus was being challenged with controversial questions about taxes and the resurrection. The final question posed to him was, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus responded with a fundamental biblical truth known as the Shema or more commonly understood as the Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Then he proceeded to give those questioning him the second-greatest commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
The Great Commandment has enormous implications for us as leaders. When Jesus asked us to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, he was essentially saying that we should love God with all of ourselves – with everything in us. When he says love your neighbor as yourself, again the implication is to love with all of who you are. And so when I consider my life as a leader, it means leading with all of who I am for the benefit of God and others. Leadership requires all of me – my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength. To not give all of me would be to shortchange God and others of what God has given me.
Questions for Reflection:
• Is there someone in your life who has modeled extraordinary leadership?
• What set him or her apart as an extraordinary leader?