Warren Bennis states:“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” But what does it take to bridge that gap; the gap between the ideal and the real? I believe it requires leaders to memorize and repeat often two vital words: I INSIST!
It’s a principle I call THE LAW OF INSISTENCE. The Law of Insistence says:
“A Leader Must Insist On What He Wants To Exist.”
Whatever it is that you want to bring into existence, will only be brought into existence at the leader’s insistence. As a result, there are three times when every leader must use insistence as a tool of his or her leadership.
1. Leaders Must Insist When They Want Something To Exist!
Jesus, the greatest leader and spiritual teacher who ever lived, was destined to fulfill His vision. What was his vision? Matthew 16:21-23 tells us:
“From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” – Matthew 16:21 (NKJV)
Jesus’ purpose was to die for the sins of all people and then to resurrect from the dead to reign as the one true God. Jesus insisted on this vision! How do we know? Because Matthew tells us, “Jesus began to show His disciples that He must…”. That word ‘must’ is a word of insistence. I MUST do this! I HAVE to do this! THIS MATTERS!
As a leader of people, if you want a certain something to exist, then you’re going to have to insist on it, strengthen your resolve, and make it happen.
2. Leaders Must Insist Even When Followers Resist!
Notice what happens after Jesus declares His purpose and vision.
“Then Peter took Him (Jesus) aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You’!” – Matthew 16:22 (NKJV)
Peter meant well. But Peter was wrong. He had good intentions but he didn’t know he was resisting the plan of God. Jesus loved Peter. Jesus knew Peter meant well. But Jesus also knew that He Himself “must” fulfill His God-given vision. So, what does Jesus do? He insists! Watch Jesus’ passion…
“But He (Jesus) turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” – Matthew 16:23 (NKJV)
Whoa! Strong words, wouldn’t you say? But Jesus wasn’t angry at Peter, He was passionate about His purpose and vision. Jesus insisted like the leader He is; with compassion for Peter’s misunderstanding and passion for God’s plan for His life. Sometimes, as a leader, you’ve just got to insist on it!
I’m not talking about being rude or acting like a bully, but about the fine art of insisting kindly but firmly.
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” — Jim Rohn
3. Leaders Must Insist Until People Assist!
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” – Matthew 16:24 (NKJV)
You may have to stand by yourself for a while, at least until someone decides to roll up their sleeves and start helping you accomplish your vision. Great leaders are always willing to stand alone if that’s what it takes!
“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone.” – General Douglas MacArthur
To sum it up: As a leader you’ve got to insist, even when people resist, and persist so your vision will exist:) It’s just that simple. Are you willing?