Posts Tagged ‘step up the bar has been raised’

Day 58 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Step Up, the Bar has been Raised!

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

A common mistake new leaders make is to believe that once they get their leadership title, life gets easier; that it is filled with perks and privileges. To dispel that notion, consider the following four facts about leadership:

1. A title doesn’t make you a leader. It merely gives you an opportunity to become one. This is because leadership is about performance and not position.

2. Once you are in a leadership position there are more demands on your time and talents, not less. This can actually restrict, rather than broaden, your freedom.

3. You must be more intentional with what you say, how you say it, and in controlling your emotions publicly. This is because you are on display and everything you say or do will be magnified many times over.

4. Since leaders have increased authority, power, and discretion, more is expected in terms of performance. The additional clout and resources you’re given when you become a leader strip away the excuses for failing to deliver results.

As you can see, leadership is a lot more about responsibilities than it is “rights”. Once you become a leader, the bar is raised and you are expected to step up, not let up!

When people read the Bible and learn how Christ came to replace the Old Testament’s legalism with love and grace, they often falsely believe that graduating from the Old Testament to the New Testament broadens one’s boundaries to behave sinfully. After all, Christ obviated the ritualistic rules and regulations that restricted God’s earlier people, so this added grace can be used as a license to sin and carry on recklessly, right? Wrong. Just as moving from a subordinate to leadership position raises the bar for your behavior, so does becoming a believer of Christ. Many Christians are surprised to discover that Christ’s behavioral commands were stricter than those in the Old Testament. Here are three examples.

1. Old standard: Exodus 20:13: Thou shall not murder. Jesus’ standard: You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder’, and whoever murders will be in danger of judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” Matthew 5:21.

2. Old standard: Thou shall not commit adultery. Jesus’ standard: You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28.

3. Old standard: Thou shall love they neighbor as yourself. Jesus’ standard: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. John 13:34

In How to Lead by THE BOOK, I will offer strategies for leading by personal example rather than by personal convenience; to commit oneself to a cause, rather than selfishly commit a cause to oneself. I’ll make the case for leaders to raise their own bar for behaviors and results. But Luke 12:48 certainly says it much better than I will and in far fewer words: To whom much is given, much is required.