Commentary: Lead yourself well at every age
FARGO — A year ago Sean McVay was hired as the head football coach for the Los Angeles Rams. Previously, he was successful as the offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins. Based on his success as an offensive coordinator it wasn't surprising he was hired as a head coach. What made his hiring a total shock to most people was that he was only 30 years old.
I will admit, I didn't see how a 30-year-old coach could lead an NFL team, especially with all the pressure of Los Angeles. The owner of the team had just announced they were building the largest stadium in the world as part of a 300-acre sports and entertainment district with the focal point being the Rams football team. With all of that at stake they hire a 30-year-old coach?
Well, I was wrong ... at least so far. All Sean McVay did in his first year as a head coach is lead the Rams from a 4-12 to an 11-5 record and into the playoffs. Pretty impressive accomplishment, to say the least.
In the New Testament, there is an example of a young pastor who was asked to take on a very challenging situation. And this was the advice his mentor, Paul, gave him: Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
So often when we think about leadership, we think about being in charge, calling the shots, hiring and firing. Yes, that is one arena of leadership. I call it positional or organizational leadership. But leadership always starts with self-leadership and our relationship with God.
Four-star general, stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf said, "Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without strategy."
Paul identifies five key areas of character:
• Speech: How are you doing at taking God's name in vain? How often do you look to see if your kids or grandkids just heard what you said? How are you doing at supporting people behind their back? Do your words build people up or tear them down?
• Conduct: Are you doing what is right even if it costs you money or time? Are you the same person in private as you are in public? Is your video in sync with your audio?
• Love: How are you treating people who have hurt you? Love is patient, kind, doesn't envy, is not selfish, keeps no record of wrongs, always trusts and believes the best in others.
• Faith: When is the last time you obeyed God even when you were scared? Even when it was inconvenient?
• Purity: How are you doing sexually? There is incredible freedom and joy long-term when we stay within God's boundaries short-term.
One-third of a utility pole is underground. By height about 40 percent of a loaded ship is under water. If a utility pole is pushed up slightly out of the ground or a ship has too much volume above water what happens? The utility pole tips over and the ship capsizes. The same is true for you and for me. You and I must always be bigger on the inside than we are on the outside. Lead yourself well at every age.
God bless you. See you next Sunday!