3 Behaviors

August 24, 2023

Actions Matter 

IN A WORLD FULL OF OPINIONS, TAKE ACTION

Today’s world is more connected than ever.  While there are notable benefits to the connection our society enjoys today, it also offers up a false sense of action.  National news corporations, streaming tv services, and certainly social media platforms offer everyone an unprecedented ability to present their opinion through the platform of their choice, but very few are willing to take meaningful action.  

Don’t allow the noise many create to be confused with accomplishment.  Anyone can be loud, pass judgment, and provide an opinion, but our world is in desperate need of well-equipped men with the courage to take action – actions guided by sound morals, moral courage, and compassion.  

In 1910, Theodore Roosevelt delivered the speech entitled “Citizenship in a Republic” at the Sorbonne in Paris.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Refuse to concern yourselves with the opinions of the masses and their loud criticisms and opinions, because while they all eagerly share their opinion and create noise, few of them are willing to get into the arena and lead the way.  

Leaders – and teams – with a bias for action are the difference makers in today’s world. 

THREE NECESSARY BEHAVIORS OF A GAME-CHANGING LEADER OF ACTION

  1. Great Leaders Build Relationships

Building effective relationships is a well-worn path to success, and the best leaders in the world make this a key priority.  To be effective, leaders intentionally build bridges and relationships with others – not just with those in our immediate circle, but cross-functionally throughout the organization.  

One of the most important aspects in the relationship building process is surrounding ourselves with those that know more than us.  It’s always humbling to learn from those that are smarter, faster, and better than us because it requires a level of vulnerability and humility.  Dwight Eisenhower once advised “Always try to associate yourself closely with those who know more than you, who do better than you, who see more clearly than you do.  Don’t be afraid to reach upward...such associations will make you a better person.”

Applying the principle: Be a connector.  In a world full of spectators, be the one that can unite the team, build relationships across all levels of the organization, and take action. 

  1. Great Leaders Lead Through Love

Leading through love is a central quality of leadership.  As I reflect on this point on the heels of Easter Sunday, I’m drawn to the greatest example of leading through love, which came from God and what he did for us through his son Jesus.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, 

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

God cares that much about us and our salvation that he would give his only son to be our earthly example and light in such a tough world.  To truly be an effective leader that can unite a team to act on things that matter, it’s important to sincerely care and be engaged.  That means building real relationships with teammates and making all decisions with their best interest at heart.  

“Best interest at heart” has become a blurred line at best in today’s culture.  Be it social media, our family, or close friends, many of us are surrounded by others that make excuses for us and enable a victimhood mentality that may make us feel good in the short term, but ultimately makes us weaker.  That connectivity of social media, and the like, is filled with propaganda that tells us we deserve to be happy, and we deserve an easy, comfortable path, but life is tough.  To create a team prepared for the crucible of life, we need leaders that are engaged and love their teams enough to challenge them and push them to achieve their greatest potential.  To do so, that often requires tough love and navigating difficult conversations - not excuses. 

Applying the principle: Accountability is the greatest form of compassion.  When we fail to hold ourselves or our teammates accountable to the standards, we are failing them.  There are plenty of spectators – those that will never enter the arena – that are willing to make excuses for us; however, leaders, and Men of Action, hold the line with those you lead, demand the most out of them, and never making excuses.       

  1. Great Leaders “Walk Point”

Adapting to new realities and bringing experience to bear is what leadership is all about.  Effective leadership requires a bit of a frontier mentality and the courage to challenge the status quo and take steps into the unknown.  There will always be plenty of people willing to shout their opinions and ideas, but they lack the courage to take real action.  

In every combat mission there is always one guy that is the “point man”.  He’s out front, courageously leading the team into the unknown.  He’s the action man, the one who will be first through the minefield or first through the unknown door to face the enemy.  Without him we wander.  Walking Point is a courageous service to the team, but someone has to walk point.  

We all face challenges in our world of varying degrees, and there will always come a time where a Man of Action has to walk point.  In our ever-increasing values-less society, we need more men that are geared for the times, anchored in the truth, and have the courage to walk point.  

Applying the principle: Know what you stand for, align your daily actions with your values, and maintain the moral courage to take action.

Our world needs a light.  Our world needs well-equipped men of action.  Isaiah 6:8 outlines “Then I heard a voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?” and I said “Here I am.  Send me.”  In order to live up to that calling, we must prepare.  Game-changing leaders prepare to take action by knowing what they stand for, maintaining the moral courage to align actions with values, and remaining plugged into the truth.  

While there are many things we can all do to improve each and every day, at a minimum, make sure we are Building Relationships, Leading Through Love, and Walking Point.   

Ready to Lead?

Prepare to roll up your sleeves.

Copyright 2024 The Iron Leader
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