Sunday, 12 March 2017

Make Integrity Your Winning Strategy


                  By Bayo Ogunmupe
       In Paul's epistle to the Corinthians, God said, 'Love never fails', think about it. Money doesn't bring happiness; fame doesn't bring self-worth and revenge doesn't bring satisfaction. The only thing that never fails is love. When Mother Teresa addressed the United Nations, she was asked, 'How can we have world peace?'  She replied, 'Go home and love your family'. If we all did, 'Paradise Lost' would become 'Paradise Found'. Napoleon Bonaparte's intellectual prowess and intense egotism make his tribute to the supremacy of leadership by love all the more striking. He said, 'Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself founded empires: but upon what did the creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire on love, and to this day millions would die for Him".
       Sometimes, leaders are just power-holders; because you cannot love others without making yourself vulnerable, for they see the expression of love as a weakness. But factually, you cannot love and keep all your options open. To truly love your spouse, your children, your siblings or the people you lead, you must give yourself unreservedly in such a way that you can be hurt  and even rejected. The fundamental principle  on which power holders operate is to protect themselves and everything they have. Whereas, true leadership is to give of yourself without reservations. Love as a characteristic of leadership seems now outmoded, yet according to the scriptures, love and integrity are the winning strategy for success in life. The bible says, 'God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of courage, power and of love and of a sound mind'. Thus, courage, integrity and love are the attributes of champions.
       "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you", Luke 6:32. The love talked about in scripture isn't a sentimental emotion that gives you goose bumps. It is compassion, caring and concern  for the well-being of another. It is based on commitment, not convenience. It is an act of your will, not a reflex of your emotions. When we submit to God's dealings in our lives, He empowers us to reach our full potential by gently breaking our stubborn will that needs to be submitted to Him. As our stubbornness breaks, His power within us is released and things begin to change for the better. Power, vision and talent  without character  and direction, have destroyed  many a man and woman, so be warned.
       Unless your talent is governed by character, you  are headed for failure. You don’t belong to yourself alone; you must honour God who bought you at a high price. Isaiah wrote, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw  the Lord sitting  on a throne, high and lifted up.”  The king had to die before Isaiah saw Him. Only when a leader becomes impervious to applause and approval and dies to ego is Jehovah glorified in his leadership. 
       When God calls you to be a leader, here are two important principles you must  always  practice.  One,  reach for people who stretch you. Solomon said, ‘Teach the wise, and they will become wiser,’ Proverbs 9:9. You can tell a lot about the direction of your  life by looking at  the people you hang out with. Their values and priorities impact on the way you think and act. If they are positive and dedicated to growth, then they will encourage and reinforce your desire  to grow. It is not only comfortable to associate with people who are ahead of  you  in their growth; but it is  profitable.
       So, try to cultivate people  who stretch you, who never think in terms  of only what  you can gain, bringing something to the table yourself. Two, realize there are tradeoffs. As responsibilities increase, rights decrease.  In a world where perks and privileges  accompany the climb to success, little thought is given to the responsibilities of the upward journey.  As the American oil magnate John Rockefeller once said, “Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.” Put another way, “To whom much is given,  from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”, Luke 12:48.

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