Thoughts On… Leadership; Accountability

Being accountable requires a degree of integrity and honesty that sets a good leader apart from the crowd. Being accountable requires an honest assessment of self and personal motivations. A good leader is constantly, consistently and thoroughly examining his process and motivations.

This is particularly true of a leader who is also a Christian and specifically true of a Christian leader.

Good leaders acquire good self assessment skills, but more importantly they seek the assessments of those they are leading. A good leader asks for honest opinions from those under his leadership and from those above him. A good Christian leader seeks the Full Counsel of God.

We all want to be loved or at least respected. Leaders are not different in that regard. Leaders want respect. They expect a certain dignity for their respective positions. Good leaders, however, do not deliberately set out to cultivate respect. Good leaders do not command dignity. They earn these things.

Leaders, true leaders, understand they are accountable to those below them, aside them and above them. Good leaders will gauge their effectiveness by and how they are judged by those to whom they are accountable. Good leaders develop a structure of accountability in those they serve and in those who serve them. And, most significantly, good leaders excel when they use that structure to better their leadership.

David had all he could ever hope for. He was King of a mighty nation. He was revered and he was feared. The people looked up to him. But, David did not have Bathsheeba. And, he took her and thought nothing of the consequences.

He did not look to anyone to hold him accountable. No one held him accountable. His generals and his advisors looked the other way. We all know how that story ends and it is not a credit to David.

Any leader is subject to a fall from grace such as David experienced. Perhaps not so dramatic, but without a structure of accountability the probability is greater a leader will suffer the same kind of loss David did and many leaders have fallen for the same reason; for the same cause.

A leader may be able to hide his sin from those most closely associated with him, but he cannot hide his sin from the Lord. A leader could go so far as to delude himself to believe that his sin harms no one and is thus a lesser sin. But, God sees sin as sin.

In David’s case the Prophet Nathan confronted him. David learned that Kings are accountable even if only to God. Actions have consequences. Thoughts have consequences. Sins have consequences.

Wisdom, that is Heavenly wisdom, dictates a good leader will establish a structure of accountability and engage his accountability partners daily. A wise leader will not wait for a crisis to engulf his charge. Rather, a leader in tune with God and seeking His guidance will avoid the consequences of crisis precisely because he is prepared and armed for them.

In every case leaders are responsible to God for our actions. He holds us accountable. Our accountability partners lead us to harness our worldly desires. Our accountability partners help us stay on the straight path; that narrow path that pleases God.

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. (1 Peter 5:1-4; NKJV)

About Jim Barnes

A man seeking to please the Lord. A man striving to abide in Christ Jesus. A man whose hope is to see just one more come into the fold.
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