Why Leaders Need to Eradicate the Snakes

Do you ever stop and think about how many people are paying attention to your leadership? It’s probably more than you think.
The Bible uses the phrase, “since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses…”
While the context is different, there is no doubt leaders are always surrounded by people who are watching.
The full verse from Hebrews 12:1 reads, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us …”

Have you taken the time to identify the things that are holding you back? Those things that hinder your effectiveness?
Admittedly, you might not be comfortable calling your shortcomings sin. That all depends on whether you understand what sin really is. It is actually an old archery term that literally means to “miss the mark.”
The definition brings clarity but doesn’t excuse the fact that there are areas where we all miss the mark. Most of us try to do better by giving up old habits and making resolutions to pursue excellence. Unfortunately resolve is not enough. When we find ourself missing the mark we must take massive action to reset our course.
For the past few days I have been dealing with a big fat rat snake that has taken up residence under my front steps — not poisonous, but very big and scary for neighborhood children and bloggers. Truthfully only one blogger. Anyway, we caught the snake on Monday … actually, my wife caught the snake on Monday, but we’re a team, right.
She took the snake down to the road and let it out of the 5 gallon bucket while I hid in the house. The snake crawled off, end of story, right? Wrong!
A couple of hours later the snake was back under the steps, and unfortunately Laura was out running errands. So I chose the next best thing. I asked google what to do.
I learned something really important about dealing with rat snakes. When your wife catches one, if you want to get rid of it, you are supposed to have her take it at least a mile away from your home and release it. Anything closer and you risk its return.
I meet leaders all the time who are ‘sort of’ committed. They like the idea of recognition and rewards, but show little interest in eradicating the barriers to excellence. In other words, they dabble with the leadership snakes rather than eradicating them.
If there are areas where you are missing the mark —  vocationally, relationally, physically, relationally, or spiritually — trying to do a little better will never get you to where you want to go.
If you want to reach your potential it will require you to go all in … to completely remove the snakes once and for all. Trust me, it matters. The longer you wait the more your sin will weigh you down.
And besides, a great cloud of witnesses are watching. Namely, those you lead.
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