The Art of Leadership By Dag Heward-Mills
It takes a combination of many moves to be a good leader. Leaders do engage in many things that come together to bring success. Jesus had good reason for admonishing that “be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Snakes can move in many different ways. They can climb, they can swim, they can stand, they can move forward, they can move sideways and they can even move backwards.
A snake does not use only one style of operation and that helps its success. A snake can contour its body to ride in the air like the wing of an aeroplane and can even steer its body to a particular landing spot. Flying snakes glide in the air and are able to glide to a distance of 100m.
Did you know that all snakes could swim quite well? Most snakes can climb trees. Rat snakes and pythons are excellent examples of good climbers. The skull of a snake is a highly evolved complex structure that is characterised by mobility and flexibility. Snakes have a greatly reduced weight of the skull that allows greater mobility of the skull. Most of the bones within the snake skull are not fused, but rather loosely attached by ligaments. This allows the expansion and flexion necessary to engulf prey. In addition to the reduced number of bones within the skull, there are also several hinge joints located at various points that allow the movement and slight rotation of certain segments. This enhanced flexibility of a serpent allows it to manoeuvre its way out of tight spots and into tiny corners.
To be as wise as a serpent, you must be capable of a C-turn. But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. He answered and said, “I will not” but AFTERWARD HE REPENTED, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not” (Matthew 21:28-30). Notice that though the son first said he could not go, he turned around and went to work in the father’s vineyard. He was a flexible son! There is good in flexibility.
Jesus was capable of a ‘C’-turn.
Jesus made a C-turn and moved away from the country of the Gerasenes when the people desired Him to leave. A C-turn is a swerve to the side. It is not a reversal but it is a manoeuvre that takes you off the wrong course onto a better way.
And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked him to leave them, for they were gripped with great fear; and he got into a boat and returned.
Luke 8:37 (NASB)
Jesus did not stop His ministry of casting out devils and healing people. He just shifted from the country of the Gerasenes to where He was more welcome. It is not wisdom to be too stiff or insistent on your original plan. That can get you into big trouble. You must be flexible and capable of C-turns.
Peter was capable of a ‘C’-turn.
Peter had dedicated his life to fishing. Some of you have dedicated your lives to practising medicine, law, pharmacy, carpentry and computer science. Peter, the fisherman became Peter the apostle because he was capable of swerving off the layman’s road and into full time ministry. What makes you so rigid? How old are you? How come you are inflexible and unchangeable? Inflexibility can be dangerous when it comes to following God.
Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” IMMEDIATELY THEY LEFT THEIR NETS and followed Him. Matthew 4:18-20 (NASB)
Andrew and John were capable of a ‘C’-turn.
These two men were disciples and followers of John the Baptist. Actually, they were disciples who were seeking the Lord. When John pointed out the Lamb of God, they knew it was time to move on. They did not make a U-turn away from the ministry. They made a C-turn which took them deeper and further into God. The C-turn they took brought them closer to Jesus.
Again, the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and THEY FOLLOWED JESUS – John 1:35-37 (NASB). You need to be flexible as a leader! Are you a leader who can undergo major changes in your presentation? Can you make a C-turn, a right turn or a left turn right now? To be a good leader, you must be capable of such manoeuvres. May you be a master of manoeuvres!