Leaders Who Last – Dave Kraft
I am sitting down to write this on the concrete outside the local large mall in OKC as I wait for the Apple store employees to open the door and start passing out numbers to get the new iPhone. I must say I am adding this to the list of things that one should not do after the age of 30, possibly even after the age of 25. The only reason I am here is because I have already sold my old phone to my best friend and I did not pre-order the new one until it switched into back order.
Now what does all of that have to do with a book review of a book about leadership? I am glad you asked (even if I did completely prompt you to think of that question).
Being a leader that last requires a total paradigm shift, it requires doing things differently than they have been done and differently than most people. It requires some positive changes being made in life. That is one of the biggest things I got from the experiential wisdom shared by Dave Kraft in this book.
Kraft cares about investing in other leaders that have a passion for leading well. He wants leaders that share this desire to always be in the business of training future leaders.
Being a leader means you need to be connected to Christ as your power source, and allow that to drive everything you do. This initial step cannot be underestimated. Leaders who are not engaged in a daily walk with Christ are leading from the margins and are not plugged into the deep and rich power source that is Christ (John 15 is vastly important).
When I was in college I was always flabbergasted by my fellow ministry students who never read the Bible except to prepare Wednesday night lessons for their youth groups. No wonder their students had no Biblical depth or deep understanding of truth. Leaders that last are those that have a longing desire to know God well. This is not something that can be faked, because when the fires of ministry come, who you are will come out quickly.
Everything you do as a leader needs to flow from this power from Christ, your vision needs to be derived from it, your passion for investing in others, how you prioritize your time and energy. Drinking in the deep things of God is where it all begins, but that does not mean we ever move on from that. I am typing this post on my iPad, and as I do the battery life is getting slowly shorter. I am using a separate bluetooth keyboard, it’s battery is being drained as well. Eventually I will have to plug the iPad back in, and recharge or replace the battery in the keyboard. That is just the way things are. In chemistry this concept is called entropy, the move toward disorder.
Leaders, we are no different. We have to stay plugged in to Christ. Several months ago, because I had started using my iPad more and more and needed the battery life to last longer I bought an extended length power cord. It is great it allows me to use my iPad in more places and for longer, when I have a place to plug it in to an outlet. In Christ, we do not have to worry about that. We can stay plugged in to Him constantly, through spiritual disciplines.
I have stayed on this first point because it is one we need so much in leaders, because without it there can be no more. We can learn and develop the other traits and habits through the work of those like Kraft, but this point of Christ as our center cannot be faked, it has to be genuine and continual.
I hope, if you are a fellow leader, that you have a desire to last and finish well. If you don’t then do the cause of Christ a favor and get out now, before you hurt someone. If you do want to finish well then I encourage you to read this book.