Leadership Principles for Everyone – Part 6

Continuing from Part 5.

Leadership Principle #23: A Leader is Disciplined.

This is the one snare that has probably caused the downfall of more leaders than any other hazard: a lack of personal discipline (p. 145).

Self-control is absolutely vital to lasting success in any endeavor of life. Many people do attain a degree of prominence on the strength of sheer natural talent alone. But the real, influential leaders are the ones who devote themselves to personal discipline and make the most of their gifts. Those who utterly lack self-control will invariably fail, and they forfeit the example of integrity so essential to th ebest kind of true leadership (p. 146).

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

If you don’t have control of your time, you won’t have control of any aspect of your life. And if you don’t operate deliberately, on the schedule you have planned for yourself, your life will be ruled by crises and problem people. You cannot be an effective leader if you are always at the mercy of things out of your own control (p. 154).

One aspect of self-disciplined life that pastor MacArthur points out is to “find ways to be edified rather than merely entertained.” He writes:

When you have time for rest and relaxation, do things that feed your soul rather than your carnal appetites. Listen to tapes of good preaching. Find music that uplifts and ennobles, rather than filling your mind with vanity and foolishness. Read a good book. Develop a hobby that has real value. Have an edifying conversation with someone you love. This is a key component of true godliness: Give your private life to God. Devote yourself especially in your leisure time to the task of cultivating humility, repentance, holiness, and the fear of God (p. 155).

Another practical advice on discipline:

If you have a habit of starting projects you never finish, that is a sure sign of an undisciplined life [e.g., finishing a book]… Why multiply projects [e.g., buy more books] when you haven’t finished what you started before? (p. 156)

Leadership Principle #24: A Leader is Energetic.

I have never known an effective leader who was lazy or idle. Leaders must be industrious and diligent. This goes hand in hand with many of the principles we have highlighted so far. It is a necessary prerequisite to the initiative, the enthusiasm, the decisiveness, and the resilience required in leadership (p. 157).

Stay tune for Part 7.

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