This month I was privileged to attend a lecture with my husband at the Atlanta History Center. The presenter is steeped in the understanding and nuances of the Civil War. His speech was on the battle of Gettysburg.
There were many insights that I took away from the lecture. I was struck, however, with his statement that those who were fighting were largely inept—even the leadership was inept. These were common, ordinary citizens from a variety of occupations entering the fray with a deep sense of duty and courage. We tend to think of soldiers and their leaders in professional terms. The leaders of the Civil War were drilling their men in tactical warfare with the handbook in one hand and shells flying overhead. They were learning on the spot—leaders and soldiers together.
We have come a long way since that time. Yet, due to the changing and complex nature of our world, it is still often the case that we are learning as we go along—sometimes with “shells flying over our heads!” One of the changes in our world, vastly different from the Civil War days, is the ability to network with people and ideas characterized by immediacy. You can call a person on the other side of the globe as easily as someone in your hometown. You can call up ideas on the computer with an analysis of pros and cons within a matter of minutes. People and ideas influence our current decision making. They also contribute skills that augment and/or surpass our own, enabling us to accomplish much more than we could on our own.
A good leader has healthy alliances. Abraham Lincoln is revered as one of America’s greatest leaders and gave perhaps his most inspiring speech on the field at Gettysburg. It is said of him that he kept his friends close and his enemies closer. He knew how to leverage the best in people, even those who thought quite differently from himself. Lincoln knew how to network with people.
The writer of Proverbs states: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm” (13:20). This month we are highlighting the leadership topic of networking. The best leaders find themselves at times (if not most of the time) learning as they go and certainly adjusting as they go. Having wise counselors and appropriate resources certainly increases the options of a leader as well as the potential effectiveness of the leader.
As you look at this month’s articles and downloads, be sure to work through the leadership study entitled The Leader’s Inner Circle. There are other suggested helps that we trust will assist your growth in your own leadership journey.
Blessings to you this month! As we consider the courage of those who died for our Country’s freedom, please be sure to offer your gratitude to God for them. And, offer your gratitude to Jesus Who died that we might have liberty of spirit and freedom to grow our relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Grace and all good to you!