Two of my grandchildren attend a school with the word “Covenant” as part of the name of the school. They take this word seriously at the school. I was discussing leadership topics the other day with another person who is as passionate about leadership as I am and I was a little aggravated with the state of leadership among some who would be leaders. Unfortunately, the lack of covenant leadership is just too easy to identify today wherever you look.
One of the descriptions for leaders that I observe today is that they have no concept of a covenant and are just being convenient leaders. So, what does that mean?
I think it means that they see some positive aspects of being a leader. And that is a positive thing I believe. However, they do not seem to grasp that leadership is inherently a difficult thing and that at many points in the process it is not fun. So, while the task of leadership remains easy or fun for them, they remain engaged. And when it gets too hard for them, they retreat from the challenge and shrink from their responsibility. This is what I call a Convenient Leader.
One of the descriptions for leaders that many of us are trying to encourage and promote is that of a Covenant Leader. So, what does that mean?
Covenant leaders have made a decision at the outset that they will be a leader in the easy times and the hard times. They have decided that the situation calls for a leader, they have considered the cost and they will be that leader. They have committed not only to the here and now but also to the future. They have made a sacred vow. They have stated an oath and they will not break their vow or their oath.
So, what is the point for us today?
Husbands and Fathers as Leaders
It is the obvious point that you have already thought it would be. There are far too many husbands and fathers out there who are Convenient Leaders. They have encountered some tough going and all too many of them have abdicated their responsibilities. But, I believe that just like the Children of Israel who remained faithful and were returned to the land God had promised them, there is a remnant of fathers who are Covenant Fathers.
The Anchor Bible Dictionary describes a remnant as “What is left of a community after it undergoes a catastrophe” Can we agree that the community is made up of families and that too many of those families have experienced the catastrophe of absent husbands and fathers? I will not belabor the point any further today. Because I think you get my point.
Corporate Executives or Managers as Leaders
It is no secret that things are tough right now from a business perspective. The economic challenges that business leaders face today are being met by a generation of leaders that may never have experienced the conditions that we are facing today. This group of leaders who was excelling and leading with ease just a few years ago is now faced with having to navigate these difficult days and lead their organizations with a strange mix of confidence and compassion.
They need confidence that the difficult business decisions they must make are the right decisions for the team and the overall organization. And they must lead with compassion and help assuage the doubts and fears of their followers and their team.
What about you?
So, what kind of leader are you? Are you a Convenient Leader? Or are you a Covenant Leader? I know which one your followers need you to be.