“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Eisenhower
“There is no limit to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.” – George C. Marshal
These are two quotes from great leaders to which, if applied, our influence and cause would increase in success overnight. I throughly enjoyed this book, as it appealed to my military background, but is also applicable to my ministry. To be quite honest; the quote by Gen. Marshal was more convicting before it was motivating. Unfortunately, there are many leaders in our churches across America that do not share this mindset. For someone else to get credit for another’s idea, or deed makes most of us angry and bitter. It should be that we give God the glory for what He is doing and realize that it is not in us and our talents, but in Him alone!
I also took notice that Pres. Eisenhower was brought up by his parents to be disciplined and grow spiritually in the Lord.
His parents, Ida Elizabeth Stover Eisenhower and David Jacob Eisenhower, instilled him with a strong competitive streak and a stern sense of discipline, requiring him to do his chores and to read the Bible aloud. “The application of stick to skin was a routine affair,” Eisenhower wrote in his memoir. – Dwight Eisenhower’s Leadership Lessons
Eisenhower’s leadership skills began developing during high school on the football field, but were noticed and molded while at West Point.
Years later, he was shown an early report of his performance at West Point, proclaiming him as “born to lead.”
Even the great military leader Gen. Douglas MacArthur took notice. "This is the best officer in the Army,” wrote one of his supervisors. “When the next war comes, he should go right to the top.” Given the identity of the man making that assessment, it would be taken very seriously; it was none other than General Douglas MacArthur.
Although Eisenhower respected MacArthur, later he learned a valuable characteristic flaw to avoid while adopting a still widely used mentality.
But the self-effacing Eisenhower was appalled by MacArthur’s self-aggrandizement and his habit of talking about himself in the third person. Later, in his own speeches, Eisenhower would shun even the personal pronoun “I.” Long before “there is no I in team” became a management cliché, Eisenhower routinely used “we” when he spoke.
To sum it all up; there are several lessons for leadership that pastors, youth pastors, and missionaries would do well to learn:
Hang in there.
Pull people together.
Understand your assets, and use them. Eisenhower knew that his personality was his key asset, and he never hesitated to make full use of his charm, tact, and diplomatic skills.
Do your key work behind the scenes.
Let your enemies beat themselves.
When you do show your hand, speak up for BIG principles.
And ask yourself; What do you stand for, and do your people see you as a champion of big goals and principles? How can you do it better?