"The difference between a leader and a follower is perspective. The difference between a leader and a better leader is better perspective.” (Bobby Clinton)
There are things we can do to acquire perspective. Ways we can gain what I like to call, altitude. But perspective is more than a strategic issue. The greatest perspective comes from seeing beneath the surface to the dynamics of the deeper issues at play. That kind of perspective unlocks true wisdom.
Deep into the later pages of the Bible, James wrote that anyone who needs wisdom should ask of God who promises to give it generously. Can you imagine a leader who doesn't need that?
Therefore, I wrote this Prayer for a Leader.
I wrote this prayer ten years ago and used to carry it with me. Looking at it today, I am stunned at how it still speaks to me. This week, with the explosive cries for justice across our land, it gives me a fresh way to pray, all over again.
A Leader’s Prayer for Wisdom
Lord, help me see beyond…
Help me see beyond…
… the borders of my own experience
… the constructs of my training and upbringing
… the limits of my own wisdom and insight
… the brokenness of my intuition
… O Lord, help me see beyond myself.
Help me see beyond…
… the surface
… the urgent
… the competing agendas
… the reactivity of others
… the easily accessible ideas, familiar approaches, and predictable personnel
… O Lord, help me see beyond the obvious to see where you are at work
Help me see beyond what my eyes take in, to see from your perspective
Help me see beyond what is, to see what could be
O Lord, help me see beyond…
the words and actions and plans right in front of me
to see the heart and longing and needs of the people around me
In every situation,
help me see the hidden part of the iceberg
that I might navigate the true spiritual
and human dynamics in play
O Lord, Give me your eyes, your ears, and your grace
to know your wisdom for all the decisions and responsibilities before me.
And, while helping me see beyond…
would you also grant me the ability to stand secure
in the reality of the present
in your presence
with unwavering courage.
Help me see beyond...
…So that I might be a non-anxious leader
patient with people
impatient with what is broken
focused, yet, open-handed
with all you have assigned to me
Help me be the kind of leader
that the people
the world around me