Leadership & Ministry Lessons from a World War One German Officer (Part 3)
October 31, 2012 2 Comments
Leadership requires making decisions without all the information. Combat leadership prior to the advent of satellites and advances in communication technology meant that decisions had to be made without all the relevant information. Even with all the advances in technology that is still true in war and it is true in ministry. You may think a road looks safe but it turns out to be disaster. You can let the unknown freeze you up or you can lead through it.
“Leaders must nearly always issue orders without exact information. Our mission and our will are often the only things untouched by obscurity. These will frequently form our only basis for an order. If a leader awaits complete information before issuing an order, he will never issue one.” – Adolf Von Schell, Combat Leadership, 31
He mentions two important things that assist decision making when one does not have all the information: our mission and our will (the will of the leader and his troops). That means the overarching mission drives the leadership decision. The question should be asked, does this decision drive us in the direction of the overarching mission or does it distract from it? That question will help make the decision clearer even when all the information in not available. As Christians, we would tweak the second…it is the will of God that helps us in our decision making. We ask the question first, “Is this what God wills?” If he does, then we have to move our will in line with His.
In ministry, we are going to have to make decisions based on incomplete information. At the end of the day, if even things get rocky as a result of those decisions, we have to be able to say we believe the decision was in line
with our Christian mission and was God’s will as best as we could ascertain that.