A couple of weeks ago I got to attend a seminar hosted by Northeastern Seminary. The keynote speakers were Kevin Myers and Dan Reiland, pastors at 12 Stone Church in Atlanta, GA. Needless to say, it was one of the better workshops I’ve attended over the years. In today’s post I’d like to talk about a principle Kevin shared in his first session of the day.
He called it “Leadership Gravity”.
We all know what gravity does – simply put, it pulls us down. Gravity is a fact of life. We don’t argue with it or try to defy it. It can’t be done. What we can do is cooperate with it. We build machines that work within the laws of gravity. We discover how gravity works and apply that knowledge in our everyday lives. For instance, when I go out and throw the football around with my son, I use my very limited knowledge of gravity to determine how high and hard to throw the ball. Most of the time, I’m close to the mark. I never think to myself, “Man, if I didn’t have to deal with this gravity, it’d be so much easier to throw this ball that distance!”
Leadership Gravity can be defined similarly – “When you lead, something will pull you down.” It’s not something we can change, fix, or remove from our lives. It’s meant to be accepted, just like we accept the fact that we are bound by the laws of physics in the natural.
Here is just a few examples of things that will exert ‘leadership gravity’ on us over time: resource challenges, financial challenges, people challenges, mission & vision slippage, culture shifts . . . you get the idea.
The wise leader won’t complain, get angry, resentful or frustrated about leadership gravity. He’ll accept it, and find ways to work with it. Remembering that we will always be bound by ‘leadership gravity’ could very possibly play a big role in relieving the stress and burden you’ve been carrying. It’s OK for you to have limitations, challenges and setbacks. It’s part of what it means to lead. Rather than fret over it, let’s work on figuring out how to throw the ball better.