Peter Senge said, “Reality is my friend.” As we continue in this series on being a coachable leader we discover that these leaders get better and better at telling the truth to themselves and to those who are coaching them. The Apostle Paul describes this as 'sober judgment' when he wrote, "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you" (Romans 12:3). Sober thinking includes both over-estimating and under-estimating our value in God's economy. If a leader can embrace reality of themselves then they can better embrace the reality of their current leadership situation.
7. Coachable people embrace reality.
One of the best lessons a leader can experience is defeat. In facing a spiritual set-back or outright defeat a leader discovers who they are, their coachability and their leadership grit. In Joshua 6-7 we discover some of the best lessons on how a leader embraces reality and leads through a spiritual defeat.
Through these chapters we see God speaking very directly to Joshua on showing him how he was going to recover from this defeat and how he was going to lead the people of God forward to fulfill the mission God had given them.
- Clearly define the situation. “But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord 's anger burned against Israel.” (Joshua 7:1)
- Own the defeat personally and corporately. Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the LORD, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads. (Joshua 7:6-7)
- Embrace the defeat without shame The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep." (Joshua 7:10-11)
- Deal with the issue openly and rigorously. ‘Go, consecrate the people’ (Joshua 7:13-26)
- Move forward with courageous confidence. "Then the Lord said to Joshua, 'Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.'” (Joshua 8:1)
One helpful way to discover the current reality of your situation is to do a SWOT analysis.(Downloadable SWOT Charts)
- Strengths: What is working well?
- Weaknesses: What is missing or needs improvement?
- Opportunities: What opportunities do we see?
- Threats: What threats have you identified?
Max Dupree said it well, “The first act of a leader is to define reality”. Leaders who embrace the reality of their own strengths and weaknesses can better embrace the reality of their current leadership situation.
Next Time: Coachable people are tenacious.
Check out the Ten Marks of a Coachable Leader series.