The Holy Spirit Looks Forward While the World Looks Back

Effective leaders look forward, not backward.
Effective leaders look forward, not backward. (Dr. Steve Greene)
My grandson can run a mile while looking backward. I don't know why he wants to do such a thing, but perhaps he's preparing for leadership.

Leaders look back for basically two reasons.

First, a leader may want to remember better days or successful events. Our resume can provide encouragement and fuel for a new battle.

We post accomplishments on Facebook and beam as applause rolls in with thumbs and congratulations.  Then Facebook reminds us years later of the event and perhaps we remember the trophy for more than it ever was.

Second, some leaders look back at failures. A failed project provides a constant reminder of "we tried that once and it didn't work."

Leaders make personal declarations to "never do that again." And we are coached by others to "learn from our mistakes."

I believe that most events of the past are carnivores. A bad experience eats away at our confidence and, sadly, clouds the reasoning and logic of future project evaluation.

The backward glancing eye is filtered by personal bias and bad memories. Our recall of a failed event is rarely rational or logical.

Failure is a brutal teacher. For many people, the desire to do it again is lost. Yet, repetition is a master teacher.

Some leaders want to keep doing what they've been doing because of the appearance of success. Similarly, some leaders want to stop doing something that doesn't "work."

In both instances, the decision-making process is illogical.

The variable of time and market conditions change more quickly today than perhaps we have ever seen. Technology alone can impact an old option in a new and profound manner.

Looking back for whatever reason is a hindrance to the future of any team.

Jesus said, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back at things is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62). Notice that Jesus didn't specify good or bad things. The Lord rebukes looking back.

Leaders must have confidence in the leading of the Holy Spirit. He will direct our path. Our path will be well lit.

Will you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you down a path you have seen before?

"In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths" (Prov. 3:6).


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