As leaders, we also spend a career searching. We search for the recipe for great leadership through reading, sharing, studying and practising. We aspire to lead better in order to achieve more. Patrick Lencioni in his newest book The Motive, encourages leaders not to seek new ways to lead effectively, but to start with a search within us for the reason we have chosen to lead. He recoils from the widely espoused premise that everyone can, and should, become a leader.
He surmises that there are fundamentally only two motives that drive people to become a leader. One is that they want to serve others, to do what is needed to bring about good outcomes for the people they lead. The second reason is to be rewarded. They see leadership as the prize for years of toil and are drawn to the trappings of attention, status, power and/or money. When leaders are motivated to lead by personal reward, they are likely to avoid the unpleasant activities and situations that good leadership requires. They delegate, abdicate or ignore situations that only the leader can address.
Along with The Motive, I have also been re-reading Joyce Rupp’s book, May I have this dance? I shared a section from it as a part of a devotion I led earlier this week here at Milton with the Senior Managers (Interdepartmental heads and CFOs). Rupp describes the irony of the human spirit. As Christians, we spend our lifetime seeking out God. Searching through reading, praying, sharing and studying, hoping to find this elusive greater being and Creator.
At the same time, God has already promised that He will always be with us. Within us. He will intentionally let us ‘find Him’.
When you search for me, you will find me; when you search whole- heartedly for me, I shall let you find me. Jeremiah 29:13