Have you ever wondered why the numbers on a telephone are laid out in they way we’ve come to see them everyday? If you are like me, probably not. It is simply the way it has always been. We are oftentimes just creatures of habit. We find a way to do things and we just keep doing them.
Leadership demands that we make choices. The question is whether or not the choices we make are intentional and purposeful. We can make leadership decisions as reactionary. A circumstance arises and we do the first thing that comes to mind or simply follow the loudest opinion in the room. At other times, we choose the path of least resistance. Looking around at the circumstances, a leader asks, “What is the way that I can go that will lead to the least amount of trouble?” or “What is the easiest thing to do right now?” Then, we can also fall into the trap of waiting to make a choice until just one path remains. It is the situation in which we fool ourselves into thinking that we made a choice when, in fact, we simply ran out of options.
None of the scenarios I’ve just described look like real leadership. Choices should be made intentionally. Everything from staffing decisions to strategic plans must be thoughtfully considered. But some organizations and leaders do not like the pain that comes with change. I would encourage you to embrace the pain that comes in guiding others. All leadership involves pain; either from the decline associated with stagnation or from the growing pains of momentum. As the leader, you get to choose whether you are a human metronome just marking time or a trailblazer calling people to the adventure of God’s will.
Take a few minutes and watch this video that describes how a group of researchers decided on the layout of the telephone keypad. Then, do an evaluation about your leadership. You do not necessarily need to do a research project on every decision but you should ensure that you are not haphazardly making choices.