Leaders Illuminate the Way 1

Leaders have a role to take people into an unknown territory. Great leaders are able to take people into an unknown territory and the followers willingly follow.

Joseph B. Wirthlin says “Great leaders communicate a vision that captures the imagination and fires the hearts and minds of those around them.” When they communicate their vision they illuminate the path for their followers and they followers get excited and can not draw back or give up but rather sacrifice to reach the destiny.

The word illuminate will give us a picture of the qualities of a vision that will fire up the hearts of a follower. I have chosen three definitions of this word. To illuminate is:

  1. To make understandable; clarify:

It is the role of the leader to make the followers understand what has to be done and how it has to be done. As a leader you need to know that first and be passionate about what you are doing so that you pass that passion to the followers as you explain it. I love the passion of the sports coaches. They are sold out to the team and the player easily connect to the coaches’ vision.

2. To provide or  brighten with light.

The leader has to provide the light and brighten the way by the way he explains the way. When the followers can not see the way or get lost along the way, the leader is supposed to provide the light to the followers so that they get back on track. The leader should always carry the light for the followers to be able to see the way. Habbakuk says that make the vision clear so that he may run who sees it.

3.To adorn with ornamental designs, images, or lettering in brilliant colors or precious metals.

The leader is also responsible for make the way attractive for the followers. The way you speak of the bill should make everyone desire to follow you. When God spoke to Moses He spoke of the Land of Milk and Honey. Even if the Israelites were fearful of the journey and the wilderness, they were inspired by the destiny. Bring expectation to people by the way you communicate the destiny.

Illuminate the way. Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path Ps 119:105.

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Sourcing for Courage

Let’s say you are about the most important presentation of your life and as you are about to go on stage someone says to you they have once heard your previous talks and there is nothing special about you. How would you feel about that?

Maybe you leading a team and you come up with a vision for a given assignment and you associate and some senior members of your team tell you that you vision will not work and is impractical. How would you deal with such a situation?

Even more you are in product development and you come up with a new product and as you are testing the product your key distributors and your superiors and they all tell you that there is no way your product will be accepted by the market. How does that feel? How do you deal with such a situation?

Chances are even if you are convinced that what you are working on is the best and will work well, you get discouraged. This is mainly because as humans we are wired to seek approval in whatever we do. For you to succeed in life you need someone to give you some form of approval.

Courage is always an ingredient for success. To move things and to move to the next level you need courage and the people who surround you have a way in which they can build (encourage) or destroy (destroy) that courage. This is why you need to always be in the right company so that you get the courage that you need when need arises.

However as a leader you will not always have access to encouragement. There are times where you envision something that no one will comprehend and so you will not get the courage that you need from the people around you but all you get is the sapping of the little courage that you already have.

At one point David was faced with such a situation. I Sam 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

At such a time David had to encourage himself in the Lord. Leadership can be a lonely place but there are two things that you need when you are all alone up there. In such a time just encourage yourself in the Lord and tell yourself that the Lord is on your side. Just say to yourself they don’t understand it now because it is too sophisticated for them but when I am done they will. Believe you are able and believe the Lord is with you.

At such at time all you need is to encourage yourself in the Lord. You are a leader, at times you will not find someone to encourage you but even at that moment rise up strong and courageously and encourage yourself. Worry not but encourage yourself in the Lord. God bless you.

Bhora Mberi – Move the ball forward

I believe one of the most exciting seasons in the history of the Barclays Premier League is 2016 – 2017 season. This is because chances are some of the best managers in our time might be leading BPL clubs, that is Pep Guardiola – Manchester City, Jose Mourinho – Manchester United  and possibly Diego Simeone or Max Allegri – Chelsea. Together with fact that these teams are likely going to give these managers enough funds to rebuild their teams.

Now these managers will need to come up with winning formulae for their teams. One of the winning formulae that we have always known is bhora mberi  which is Shona for keep the ball forward. As you do that you put pressure on your opponent.

This same principle works in leadership. As a leader you need to make sure that in all your endeavours leave the organisation in a better position from where you took it from. President Barack Obama using the American  Football analogy says “we don’t score a touch down everytime, but what we move the ball forward”.

There are two temptations that all leader have every time that is
1. To avoid a vision which they cant finish in their leadership term of office. Leadership is a like a button exchange, you do what you have to do and pass on the role to the next generation. Someone said if you have a vision which you can achieve then possibly you have a small vision. There are leaders who are not willing  to start a project they can’t finish. Take this as an encouragement – I Cor 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God [all the while] was making it grow and [He] gave the increase.
Like Paul plant your big vision make it clear for Apollos to read and water. You have a part to play so does Apollos but God will cause the growth.

2. To stay in power forever. This is normally because the leader says I want  to finish what I started. Many leader especially in Africa have the thought that no one will be able to accomplish what they would have envisioned.  Do your part and give the next generation to do their part. Just kick the ball forward / bhora mberi and leave for the next person. So I can come up with a twenty year vision if well articulated and presented two or three leaders after me can continue with that vision. I remember in the 1990s  there were visions like Health for all by 2020 and Education for all by 2020. These are visions which could have been inherited even by three generations before 2020 without any problems.

It is normal not to trust that the next person will finish what I started but if what you are doing is for the good of the organisation or country realise that you are not the only one with the heart to build.

The point is at the end of the reign make sure you pushed the ball forward at least. If we all do that we will be a progressive generation.  So write the vision clearly for the next generation. Endeavour to understand the vision of our fathers. Push the ball forward. And trust the next generation to do their part.

God bless you.

Leadership from the Pharmaceutical School

During my primary school days when asked what I wanted to do when I grew up like many of my friends I always said I would like to be a medical doctor. This was due to a desire for a better life and not a passion for the profession. So because of that I thought of writing  on my current passion from the area of my childhood desire.

When you look at the different classes of drugs you can derive the different types of leaders and their attitude towards their followers. It is like a leader drugs their follower so here are the six classes of messages and influences a leader will have.

1. Depressants – these drugs make person less nervous and drowsier. Eg – alcohol.
Depressant leaders will sap the energy from their followers and thereby affecting the productivity. When you have these leaders you are always drunk and your concentration is affected. Whenever they speak they will leave nervous. Have you ever heard of leaders who will tell that this nation has no future or I don’t think we will make it. How do you feel when someone tell you that you will fail no mater what you do.

2. Hallucinogens – distort reality.
There are leaders who will distort reality to make their followers happy or just to make people ignore reality. I have seen a lot of hallucinogens in the political arena where people are promised heaven on earth and are given false reasons on the state of affairs. When the followers realise that they had been cheated it will be too late. How do you feel when you are promised something and you celebrate about it only to discover that it will never come.

3. Stimulants – cause excitement for no reason. Eg cocaine.
Leaders who are stimulants are sweet talking leaders who after giving a speech you are all excited  but only to discover later that what they said was of no substance. These are people of charisma without content or character. So these are leaders who will appeal to the masses but will not make a tangible action in a life.

4. Pain killers – these are drugs which interfere with the brain system that interprets pain.
This means they deal with the signs and symptoms ie pain but will will not solve the problem. Eg Stop pain and aspirin. These are leaders who will shift your attention from the problem but they don’t deal with the problem.

These are leader who will give you the fish but will never teach you how to fish or even give you the rod. They only bring short term solutions and do not eliminate the problem or the cause of the problem. We see this with humanitarian aid and political campaigns. These create followers who are dependants with a begging mentality.

5. Antibiotics – These kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria  (disease causing organisms) – Eg penicillin.

The antibiotic leader will deal with the problem effectively. When an antibiotic leader is in place she will deal with the root cause. If there is high unemployment instead of providing jobs she will look at developing industry and markets. Now with antibiotics you have to follow the prescription and finish the course. That is the same issue with antibiotic leaders you have to be aligned to their policies and work hard in oder to deal with the problem.

6. Vaccines – biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular disease . This means a vaccine will prepare the body to deal with the disease causing  microorganisms.
Vaccine leaders will train their followers to be able to solve problems. This means that a follower is trained to be a problem solver and a leader. Vaccines contains agents which resemble the disease causing micro organisms so as to train the body to resist and deal with the disease causing micro organisms. Thus a vaccine  leader will give their followers smaller tasks and problems to solve to develop muscle and strength in the followers.

So what kind of a leader are you. Are you not a leader will only add a feel good factor and solve no problems or you are a problem solving leader or even a leader who develops other leaders. Make a choice.

The Five Fold Duty of Every Married Man

EPHESIANS 4:11-13   And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

1 CORINTHIANS 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Looking at the fivefold ministry it is interesting to see that Christ (The Groom) is the one who gave gifts to His Body (The Bride) for the perfection of the saints. Now if marriage is a type and a shadow of the relationship between Christ and the Church then it is also important to note that the support system for the church should also be available in a family set up. I feel it is the duty of every man to establish this system ie the fivefold ministry in his home just as Christ did in His home. With that in mind I am going to look at five spiritual duties and roles of a husband and father.

  1. Evangelist – Group.

In the natural for a family to come up it is the man who will group people around him and find them a place to stay. As a single man you will need a day to spread the gospel of love to a specific person. You will use fishing skills and you will also need the grace of God to win the soul.

This is just like in evangelism. You should not just pick randomly but you pray and you target. Miracles, signs and wonders are tools you can use to win souls and men usually perform miracles signs and wonders to win that soul. The only difference is once you have won a soul you are done you don’t keep evangelising this way but you change the strategy.

The next thing is children will come and that is your responsibility as a father. Realise that the point is still the same fishing skill, faith and grace. (I will not say more on this but I am sure all married men understand)

The evangelist is the one who groups people and draw them to Christ and man you can do that and come up with a family. You are also responsible for the salvation of your children. Pray for them and teach them the Word of God.

  1. The Pastor – Guard

You need to be the Pastor of your family as a father. Make sure that your family is provided for in terms of need including security. You need to be the shepherd of you family and make sure that you wife and children are safe and secure from the so many evils of this world. The television, internet and society as a whole has some evil practices which you need to make sure that your family is guarded from such.

I am sure that you need to understand Psalm 23 and John 10 and be able to be the good shepherd to your family. Take lessons from the Lord Jesus who is the good shepherd and be a good shepherd to your wife and children.

Qualities of a good shepherd are

  • Feeding – you need to provide for your family
  • Watering – Provide ministry of the Holy Spirit to your family.
  • Grooming – You are the one who will prepare your family for the world. If need be you may use work from other people but you are responsible for preparing your family for ministry.
  • Shearing – As you prepare your family there are times where discipline and rebuke are necessary tools. Don’t be afraid to use them.
  • Delivering lambs – You are to promote and develop the fruits of your family.
  • Leading- You should provide leadership for your family in all circumstances.
  • Protection
  • Looking for lost sheep.
  1. The Teacher – Ground

As a father it is your responsibility to teach your family. I believe that you need to establish a doctrine within your family. Your wife and children should not find it difficult to make a decision even when you are not around because they are well taught and grounded in the Word and in you principles and values.

  1. The Prophet – Guide

 You are the visionary of your family. You know where you are to go and therefore guide your family. Speak prophetically to your children and pray for them.

When a child is born it is the duty of the father to pray for the child and speak guiding words into the child’s life. Look at Jacob when he was dying, he spoke prophetically all his children and two of his grandchildren. He guided them and you as a man you need to do that.

5. Apostle – Govern

Finally no one will govern your family except for you.Apostles are messengers sent by the Lord. You will find that normally Apostle have a specific calling that they are called for. That calling will then distinguish apostolic houses.

You as an individual you have a calling and an anointing for your house. You need not copy the next door guy or this successful man but you have a calling and purpose for your family which you need to fulfil. Look at David and Solomon they were both kings but they had different mandates.

So your role as the apostolic father of your family is to establish your apostolic house (Family) and to raise a crop of people who move and fulfil the purposes of that apostolic house. God, having given you a purpose has also equipped you with divine abilities so that you can achieve this role

Also realise that you have been need to be a sound person and therefore be able teach, establish and fiercely defend sound doctrine for your family. This means that if your child starts listening or reading wrong material you can be able to correct and establish them in the correct and sound doctrine.

Relating With Your Fathers 3: Honour

Honour Your Fathers

When relating to fathers one of the most important qualities is to honour them. Generally, especially in the African culture we are supposed to honour our elders in our society. We were always told to give a seat to an elderly in public places in cases of shortage of seats and give way to the elderly when you meet them along a small path. It is part of our culture to greet the elders always when we meet them. This is part of the honour that we offer to our elders as a culture.

We also need to give honour to our fathers in the Lord. This is important for our growth and order in ministry. There is always disorder whenever there is no honour and people will do as they wish.

  1. Following their teaching

As sons we need to follow the teachings of our fathers. This helps us and also comes in as a form of honour. 

  1. Sharing with them

It is also a form of honour to share with our fathers in resources like finances. Blessing your fathers with finances and resources is a form of honour. You should also honour your fathers by meeting their needs financially and otherwise.

 You should also help in carrying the burdens of your leaders as a responsible son. There are times when the fathers have visions or plans which they can no longer fulfil. It is the work of sons to share their time and labours to make sure that those plans come to pass. 

  1. Pushing their vision

Sons also honour fathers by making sure that the vision of their fathers come to pass. Fathers have visions which at times they cannot fulfil on their own and therefore they will require that sons will assist them in fulfilling those visions.

 Sons therefore work, finance and see to it that the vision of their fathers comes to pass. 

  1. Never expose the Father’s nakedness

In some of the places I have worked I have realised that I was the person who would see the weaknesses of my boss because we were in the same field and operating in the same office. I also realised that there were people who would see some of the weaknesses but would want me to confirm that and when I would not they could not raise the issues.

 As a son you are the person who is likely going to see and know with evidence the weaknesses of your father but you will do well by not exposing them. Try by all means to help him privately. I am sure that is why Christ said as the household of faith we should not take each other to the courts but to deal with our cases in-house. 

  1. Covering their nakedness

There are times when fathers make mistakes and during those times it is sons who can either make or break the fathers. Just like the sons of Noah, one saw the nakedness of the father and exposed it but the other two refused to look at the nakedness of a father but just covered him.

 It is critical that as sons we cover the errors and mistakes of our fathers and we help them recover. 

  1. Never Create your own empire or faction in a father’s house

Division in a house (family, ministry, business political party) usually comes when a sons tries to start and build their own empire within the house. This is the most divisive thing in a house. An example is what Absalom did to the house of David.

 The reason why there are always divisions in polygamous marriages is simple the mother or one of the sons tries to or builds a faction in the house. A son who honours his father will not build their empire within the father’s empire but will build the family empire.

 If you feel you need to build your own the best is to leave and build your own the same we do at home when I felt I was old enough I left my father’s house respectfully and started my own family and my parents were happy especially on the launch of my family i.e. wedding. 

  1. Defending their cause

Defending the cause of a father is the work of sons. You need to know and understand the cause of your father and defend it with all you have. 

  1. Listening to their instruction

Fathers will always give instructions on how things are supposed to be done in a house. It is very important and critical as a son that you fallow these instructions as you serve a father. 

  1. Allow them to lead

Leadership is not a positional thing but a leaders needs followers. As a son follow your father. This is very important.

It is critical for as sons to honour our fathers. Note that fatherhood and sonship are not declarations made but you are a son to a person who made you and has fed you to the point of making you. 

God Bless

In Christ

Graduate ZM

Relating With Your Fathers 2: Imitate/Copy

Imitating / Copying a Father.

There is a Shona Proverb which says “Mbudzi kudya mufenje hufana nyina” which literally means a goat eats a certain bush (mufenje) by copying its mother. This means that we inherit our behavior from imitating our parents.

One thing which I have realized with successful family businesses is that children are introduced into the family business at very tender ages and rise within the organization. This means that the business or the family profession becomes a very key integral part of the children’s lives.

I know a lot of people will say that you need to let a son choose their area of passion and interest but realize as well that passion is a product of exposure. I might have been a good rugby or cricket player but was not exposed to those so I never got interested in the two sporting activities. So a father who exposes their son to the father’s business at an early age and correctly will have the son take the business to a higher level. Examples I have include Mark Zuckerbeg, Picasso and the Walton brothers and sisters.

Now a son who is given an opportunity to copy from a father starts at a better and higher position. What is key is to have the right structures but a son who copies from a father will always starts at a better position as compared to someone who is venturing into totally new area. A father can share a lot of wisdom in the field which can only be acquired through years and decades of experience.

1Co 4:15-16 “Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.”

Heb 6:12 “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”

Heb 13:7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

1Co 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

You find that the scriptures also encourage us to imitate our fathers. Here are some of the things we can imitate from our fathers.

  1. What they feed on

I have realized that our son who is about one and a half years copies whatever we do. What we eat he loves to eat to the extent that at times he refuses his food to eat from our plates.

 As a son what are your fathers feeding on spiritually or professionally. What do they read? I remember a time when my pastor mentioned some of the key people he had read from and I straight away went to download books from these authors.

 Look for the material that your father feeds from i.e. books, dvds etc. As a son try to eat what has made your father who he is. This is the man who made you and I am sure what works for him will work for you as well. 

  1. How they feed

The next thing is how your father feeds. It is also important that you copy the feeding styles of your father. How do they study the scriptures and other books? How did they get to where they are and how did they get that discipline?

 Imitating how your father feed will obviously bring you to a position where you are starting at a higher level than where your father started from. This means you will not have to go through some trial and errors that your father went through when he started. 

  1. The ways

You also need to look at the way your fathers do things. Learn from them so that you do not walk the same path they walked only to finish where they ended. When you look at the Word of God you will realize that every generation that looked at the ways of their fathers and imitated the ways of the fathers pleased the Lord.

 You need to take time to understand the ways of the fathers and imitate them and you will see yourself getting better in life. 

  1. Skills

As you grow and work with your father you need to also learn skill of life from you father. You need to learn from him how to handle finances, deal with people and manage time. Look at the systems that your fathers put in place and learn from them.

 This will place you at a higher level and better position than all your peers.

  1. Doctrine / Teaching

You also need to copy the doctrines and teachings from your fathers. Learn from what has built them and what they have also taught. Be a student of your fathers.

As a son you will be a better person by imitating your fathers. This will position you at a better starting point. What you are imitating from your parents is mainly what is input to your life. How it will come out of your life is now the matter of the gifts and talents that God has given to you.

You are also not only taking from you fathers but there are so many other sources which you can take from but the experience of your fathers will also help you choose what works and what doesn’t from others.

So as a son take time to imitate your fathers.

In Christ

Graduate ZM