Leadership Development, Not Fulfillment
Leaders can’t afford to make fools of themselves, gulping wine and swilling beer, lest, hung over, they don’t know right from wrong, and the people who depend on them are hurt. Proverbs 31:4-5 (The Message)
Beginning in the late 60s and early 70s, people began talking about “finding themselves,” meaning that they were searching for a way to become self-fulfilled. It’s like making “happiness” your goal, because self-fulfillment is about feeling good.
But self-development is different. Sure, much of the time it will make you feel good, but that’s a by-product, not the goal. Self-development is a higher calling; it is the development of our potential so that we can fulfill the purpose for which we were created. There are times when that’s fulfilling, but other times it’s not. But no matter how it makes us feel, self-development always has one effect: It draws us toward our destiny. As Rabbi Samuel M. Silver said, “The greatest of all miracles is that we need not be tomorrow what we are today, but we can improve if we make use of the potential implanted in us by God.”
Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. . . . But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you. Deuteronomy 28:1,15
The vision Moses cast to the new generation of Israelites looked quite different from anything most leaders have communicated since then: He cast vision for what life would look like if the people obeyed God fully. But Moses also cast vision for how life would turn out if they failed to obey. Not many leaders do this! From then on, the people could see clearly the blessing of obedience and the curses of disobedience.
That’s the power of vision, from two angles. Such a vision helps people sort out what they will do, because they can think with the end in mind.