The Misunderstood Side of Being a Driven Leader

In today’s Leadership Insight, let’s begin with a story from the 2009 Michigan International Speedway. Three contenders Mark Martin, Jimmy Johnson, and Greg Biffle had raced nearly 400 miles with merely 50 laps remaining. All three drivers had driven hard to maintain the top three positions in the race. Johnson and Biffle fought over the lead while Martin remained in third place, keeping a slower pace to conserve fuel. As Johnson began the final lap, he ran out of fuel and Biffle took the lead. Half way through the final lap, Biffle also ran out of fuel. Martin, who had spent the final 50 laps conserving fuel, raced to victory.

I want to challenge you today to consider the principle of ‘Being Driven’ from the perspective of this true life story.  There are several similarities which frequently occur in the life of leaders, especially ministry leaders.

Somewhere along the line, there has crept in a mindset that in order to be successful, reach your goals, and become all that you can be, you must push as hard as you can, as long as you can, to reach the finish line. To simply put it, that mindset is untrue and often destructive. Mark Martin demonstrated that there are times when a little restraint will actually aid you in going farther.

Maybe you consider yourself to be a ‘purpose driven’ leader. However, ask yourself is the ‘purpose’ part of being driven overshadowing common sense, or even the leading of God’s Spirit as He is trying to guide you to more successfully reach your goals.

Take a moment to remind yourself that Christ asks you to step back for some rest with Him. We clearly see this example from Mark 6. In verses 6-13, we read as the disciples were sent out doing the work of the ministry. Then, in verse 31, Jesus recognizes how they had been pushing hard and says to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Being refreshed will energize your spirit and your physical energy. Listen to the Spirit and use the common sense God placed within you to also spend time with friends and family to be refreshed. Slowing down just a bit at times allows you to have a clearer view of your surroundings and gain a better perspective on how to reach the goals before you.

To close with a humorous thought, consider: “It’s alright to be driven, as long as it is not driven to insanity.”

Gary R. Linn

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