Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. – Ecclesiastes 9:10
When I hear the word “might,” I see muscles twisting and hear voices grunting. I also see a runner sprinting toward the finish line with face drenched with sweat and tears. Indeed, “going for the gold” calls for strenuous effort. It calls for self-sacrifice. It calls for sheer determination.
God is a God of excellence and His people, especially the leaders, should strive for it. He is not a God of mediocrity and He does not want His people to dwell in the valley of ordinariness. He declares through Ellen White, “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children.”
What does it take for leaders to “go for the gold”?
First, as leaders, we must strive to understand God’s ideal for us. What God wants is for us to be like him. Christlikeness is the first goal of a leader. Henry and Richard Blackaby, in their book Spiritual Leadership, point out that “as leaders grow personally, they increase their capacity to lead.” Leadership development is first of all personal development and personal development is character development. A leader may have increased the organization’s assets or may have led the university through great success but if his or her character is soiled, he or she cannot continue to lead effectively. Leadership is not only about amazing statistics and figures. It is most of all a character issue. Still, leaders must also strive to grow in their profession, since they can take the organization only as far as they can go. Giant organizations are so because they have giant leaders.
Second, as leaders, let us dream big for our organizations and strive to make our dreams come true. Our dreams should be coupled with our passion to bring to concrete reality the abstract things which are conceived in our mind. Aside from the gift of vision, the leader must have the force of will to hammer the first nail and the persevering endurance to strike the last nail.
Third, as leaders, we must understand that the road to excellence is not always a step forward. Many times along the slippery road to success, we may slip many steps backward. But it does not matter how many backward steps we take; what matters is that we stay on course and plod on and on. As long we are on the right track, we will reach our destination. Churchill, a leader known for his unflinching determination to win the Second World War, said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” At the end of our journeys, we will not remember our failures; our minds will just be enthralled with the overwhelming joy of victory.