One of my favorite and most convicting leadership verses from the Bible is Judges 5:2- When Israel’s leaders took charge the people gladly followed. Praise the Lord!. To me, this verse puts leadership into perspective in the following ways.
First, “taking charge” in this context, is not about taking over but taking responsibility. It means leaders take on the full understanding and weight of leading, knowing that they also are fully culpable for the outcomes. It means too that leaders know where they’re going when it comes to vision, mission, and direction, and make it clear to everyone else. Finally, taking charge means leading by example and following through.
Second, “the people gladly followed” because the the leaders took charge, as described above. People will sell out to a vision but they want and need leadership that is clear about that vision and more importantly, are sold out to it themselves.
Too many visions are derailed or never move forward because leaders simple don’t “take charge” when it comes to leadership! Again, taking charge means taking full responsibility for not just the expectation, but the execution!
“Taking full responsibility” is a phrase used loosely, and rarely genuinely.
Full responsibility means you take the blame, or the credit. The former is of course easier than the latter.
When I was only seven years old, my brother, who was eight, threw a rock into the front glass doors of a YMCA in Washington DC, where I grew up. We were waiting for my father to pick us up, and were bored. The vandalism caused lots of damage.
Dad took full responsibility. He paid for the damage, apologized for the incident, and took the risk that his military career might be permanently affected.
But adult leaders of adults rarely show “full responsibility”, and instead pour out apologies and keep their jobs, salaries, and structure, at the expense of integrity.
If someone says they take full responsibility, they must be ready to take full punishment.
Easy to take full credit, difficult to take full blame.
Often times it seems to be a “wait and see” situation…until the proverbial rubber really hits the road.
Then we see good intentions become reality.