There is something about a “can do” attitude that makes a leader. It is someone who sees the potential, brings a fresh optimism and plows ahead to realize their dream. But there is a dark side to this “can do” approach that I have seen play out in two leaders featured in the past year.
When leaders believe that optimism and zeal can trump the reality of a situation, it usually requires them to bend that reality to their will. For any of you who have read the latest biography of Steve Jobs, you see over and over in that book how Isaacson describes Steve’s ability to “distort” reality to accomplish his goals.
Another example came last night as I watched a 60 Minutes interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here is a man who has been successful in three different professions. In order to do that, he bent reality to his will and pushed through some significant character flaws in his life. He thought by ignoring his indiscretions, that he could be everything he wanted to be.
The reality of both of these people is that they successfully harnessed this world for their ends, but they destroyed countless people in the process. They had information about how this world worked, but they didn’t have Kingdom information. They were uninformed (either ignorantly or by choice) about the ways that God would look at their life’s work.
A Kingdom leader must lead out of Kingdom information. They must see those around them and the situations they come up against through God’s perspective. And then they must act. Steve and Arnold had a lot of this world’s information at their disposal but they were missing a Kingdom perspective. They gained success in the world’s eyes but in the Kingdom they failed when it counted most.
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