Leadership Promises for Your Week

Leadership Promises for Your Week

by John C. Maxwell

Make the most of your week.

John C. Maxwell is nationally recognized as the authority who brings biblical principles to leadership and personal objectives. His insights have helped millions of people make life-changing decisions and unlock their potential. In Leadership Promises for Your Week, he distills many of his winning concepts and

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Make the most of your week.

John C. Maxwell is nationally recognized as the authority who brings biblical principles to leadership and personal objectives. His insights have helped millions of people make life-changing decisions and unlock their potential. In Leadership Promises for Your Week, he distills many of his winning concepts and scriptural meditations into a weekly devotional. Delivered with his trademark style of confidence, clarity, and encouragement, Maxwell addresses a host of vital topics including success, teamwork, communication, conflict resolution, stewardship, and mentoring.Each week explores one facet of leadership in a format perfect for the busy leader. Each week includes a promise that God has made to leaders, a promise good leaders make to their teams, a quick lesson, and a thought or activity to help carry you through the week.

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Read an Excerpt


Promises for Your Work Week

By John C. Maxwell

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2006 Maxwell Motivation, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4041-0397-9



The Lord shows mercy and is kind. He does not become angry quickly, and he has great love. He will not always accuse us, and he will not be angry forever. He has not punished us as our sins should be punished; he has not repaid us for the evil we have done. The Lord has mercy on those who respect him, as a father has mercy on his children. Psalm 103:8–9, 13 (NCV)

* * *


I am humbly aware of how much I've already been forgiven, and I will continue owning up to my mistakes.



And David said to God, "Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done evil indeed; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, O Lord my God, be against me and my father's house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued." 1 Chronicles 21:17

Times of failure not only reveal a leader's true character, but also present opportunities for significant leadership lessons.

After a major victory over the Philistines, King David made a major mistake. The king stopped trusting God for the defense of his nation and undertook a census to measure his military power. David's willingness to take responsibility for his foolish action demonstrated his depth of character. He repented and accepted punishment from the hand of God, trusting in the grace of God. Even so, David's error snuffed out the lives of seventy thousand Israelites. When leaders mess up, many people suffer.

Many leaders attempt to hide failures, blame others, or run from God. But David admitted his failure and repented. Although he faced many difficulties, David worked to restore his relationship with God and did whatever he could to minimize the consequences of his failure in the lives of others.

Lifting the Lid

"Also, in time past, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel'." 2 Samuel 5:2

Why did Saul fail as Israel's king, while David succeeded? The answer can be found in the Law of the Lid. Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person's level of effectiveness. And to reach the highest level of effectiveness, you have to raise the lid on your leadership ability. David had many lids on his life, but they did not stop him:

1. His family

2. His leader

3. His background

4. His youthfulness and inexperience

Ultimately, David became a great leader—yet not because he lacked limitations in life. He achieved much because he became a lid lifter.

Every leader has lids on his life; nobody is born without them. And they don't disappear when a person receives a title, achieves a position, or gets invested with power. The issue is not whether you have lids, but what you are going to do about them.

Following in Your Footsteps

So Aaron and his sons did all the things that the Lord had commanded by the hand of Moses. Leviticus 8:36

Aaron, like many leaders through history, received a divine calling. God chose Aaron and his sons to serve as Israel's priests and charged them with carrying out rituals and sacrifices on behalf of all Israelites. Scripture gives meticulous detail to their ordination and calling. Their conduct was to be beyond reproach—God made it crystal clear that failure to uphold His established guidelines would result in death.

Despite his high calling, Aaron at times struggled with his authority. He once caved in to the depraved wishes of the people and led Israel in a pagan worship service, an abomination that led to the deaths of many Israelites. Aaron had been set apart for God's service, but on that occasion, he chose to live and lead otherwise.

The failure of a leader usually results in consequences far more grave that the fall of a nonleader; on the day Aaron failed, "about three thousand men of the people [died]" (Exodus 32:28). When leaders fall, followers also pay the price.

* * *

This Week: Are you letting any of the lids on your life hold you down? Who has suffered because of your failures? Ask key people for forgiveness, and see if there's any way to repair the damage.



The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide. Psalm 37:30–31

* * *


I know how much I need god's help, And I turn to him daily For counsel and encouragement.



When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet ... O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:3–6, 9

Have you ever asked, "When does a leader's confidence become arrogance? What does humility look like in a leader's life?" Psalm 8 shows leaders how to balance their identity with their self–esteem. Consider how David maintains both confidence and humility.

1. David sees his own weakness and humanity. David realizes that in the sweep of the galaxy, man accounts for only a very small part.

2. David sees his God–given position and privileges. David knows that God has made humankind a little lower than Himself.

3. David sees a balance by giving all the glory to God. David closes the psalm the way he began. He magnifies the Lord and gives Him the credit for the good that has come from his life and leadership.

Security is Found in God, Not in Followers

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. Psalm 127:1

Unless God remains at the center of your efforts, you labor in vain. Whether we lead in the military, in construction, or sit behind a desk, we cannot fight, build, or plan well enough to gain anything permanent. Smart leaders not only include God in their strategy, they place Him at its center. Consider the following list of rules regarding security and people.

1. People cannot provide permanent security for a leader.

2. Leaders should never put their emotional health in the hands of someone else.

3. Spiritual and emotional health requires the truth.

4. Leaders must remember that hurting people naturally hurt people.

5. Trouble arises when leaders depend on people to do what only God can do.

In trouble? Turn to God. "I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps" (Psalm 40:1–2). God is rich in grace and mercy. He not only forgives, but restores and redeems. When times of trouble arrive—even trouble we bring on ourselves—we must turn to God and wait patiently for His help. He'll never fail us.

Guide the Way

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8

Leaders must closely observe the flock for its needs and problems. God expects spiritual leaders to serve as guides. A guide takes a person or group safely to a planned destination. The Hebrew word for "guide" gives us several clues as to what God expects from those He uses as leaders. A guide ...

is a spiritual head who unites and directs people in their walk with God.

takes people on the straight path that leads to fellowship with God.

gives accurate and godly counsel to those who need it.

leads with gentleness and trustworthiness, making others feel safe.

bases his or her direction on the Spirit and the Word of God.

* * *

This Week: Meditate daily on Psalm 23. Then notice what happens to your stress level. Psalm 23 reminds us of what God alone can control and what we can control. It distinguishes between problems (things we can change) and facts (things we cannot change). It defines God as our ...




If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land. I will listen to every prayer made in this place. 2 Chronicles 7:14–15 (NLT)

* * *


I understand that the quality Of my leadership springs from the Quality of my heart. I will guard my heart.



Surely the princes of Zoan are fools; Pharaoh's wise counselors give foolish counsel ... Let them know what the Lord of hosts has purposed against Egypt. The princes of Zoan have become fools; the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also deluded Egypt, those who are the mainstay of its tribes. Isaiah 19:11–13

Most natural leaders don't aspire to be great leaders; they aspire to be great persons. Personal qualifications lead to leadership qualifications. When leaders lead their own lives well, others naturally want to follow.

Consider Mother Teresa of Calcutta, India. It's doubtful she ever said, "I am going to set out to be a great leader!" Yet that is what she became by determining to be the person God created her to be.

If we want our leadership to last, we must pay attention to four crucial elements:

Character enables us to do what is right even when it seems difficult.

Perspective enables us to understand what must happen to reach a goal.

Courage enables us to initiate and take risks to step out toward a worthy goal.

Favor enables us to attract and empower others to join us in the cause.

Win Within

How does a leader seek victory over self? Consider how King Josiah conquered himself (2 Chronicles 34:31).

1. He remained open and teachable. Josiah humbled himself. He departed from the ways of his arrogant father and sought God.

2. He removed obstacles carried forward from the past. Josiah swept the country clean of idols.

3. He realized what he needed to give and gave it. Victory always carries a personal cost. For Josiah, that meant repairing the temple and reinstating the Passover.

4. He recognized the key to victory. For Josiah, the key to victory was repentance.

5. He retained a personal commitment to succeed. People never become more committed than their leader. Josiah's personal commitment inspired the people to be faithful despite their evil desires and history.

What qualities should every leader possess? Psalm 15 lists many of the necessary traits. David pictures a godly leader as one who ...

possesses integrity.
does not participate in gossip.
does not harm others.
speaks out against wrong.
honors others who walk in truth.
keeps their word even at personal cost.
isn't greedy to gain at the expense of others.
is strong and stable.

Alarm Bells for Leaders

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:7–10

We can't pull a fast one on God. He sees all and cannot be deceived. To ensure that we live by this truth, seek others to act as your "alarm bells" and ask you tough questions, such as the following:

Is your personal walk with God up–to–date?

Are you keeping your priorities straight?

Are you asking yourself the hard questions?

Are you accountable to someone in authority?

Are you sensitive to what God is saying to the whole body of Christ?

Are you over–concerned with building your image?

Do you put more stock in "events" rather than "process"?

Are you a loner in your leadership and personal life?

Are you aware and honest about your weaknesses?

Is your calling constantly before you?

* * *

This Week: Consider what victories over yourself you still need to achieve, What's your battle plan? What victories are already accomplished or well in hand?



If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done. 1 John 1:8–9 (NCV)

* * *


I take my character seriously. My moral compass is set. Sometimes I Do fall, however, and when that happens, I'll apologize and work quickly To repair the damage done by my mistakes.



For people who hate discipline and only get more stubborn, there'll come a day when life tumbles in and they break, but by then it'll be too late to help them. Proverbs 29:1 (MSG)

How many leaders have ruined their lives and damaged the lives of others through immorality? Character has become a crucial issue today precisely because of the myriad leaders in the political, business, and religious worlds who have fallen morally. Leaders need to remember that they influence many others beyond themselves; they never fall in a vacuum. They also need to realize that replacing fallen leaders is a slow and difficult process.

So how can we guard against falling? First, we must take care not to emphasize the gifts of a leader over his or her character. We have an unhealthy tendency to see and reward the gift more than the character; but both are to be developed. We must strike the following balance if we are to finish well:

What I Am—Humble, Convicted, Visionary

What I Do—Rely on God, Do the Right Thing, Set Goals

What I Gain—Power from God, High Morale, Credibility

Broken to Be Better

Even leaders gifted with tremendous natural leadership can have a very difficult time, especially with issues of character. That was true for Jacob. From the very beginning he wielded great influence. Wealthy, strong, and blessed with a large family, Jacob seemed to have everything. But a leader who goes his own way cannot be an effective instrument in God's hands. God had to break Jacob to make him useful (Genesis 32:24–25). In the breaking process, Jacob—the deceiving "heel-catcher"—became Israel, a "prince of God" who purposed to serve God rather than himself.

Natural leaders often need to be broken. Consider your natural ability to lead a gift from God, but your character a gift to present back to God. Every time you stand up under the weight of adversity, you are being prepared, as Jacob was, to better serve God and lead people.


Excerpted from Leadership by John C. Maxwell. Copyright © 2006 Maxwell Motivation, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

John C. Maxwell, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach and speaker, was identified as the #1 leader in business by the AMA and the world’s most influential leadership expert by Inc. in 2014.His organizations—The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, and EQUIP—have trained over 6 million leaders in every nation. Visit JohnMaxwell.com for more information.

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