(Genesis 6:8 to 7:24)
One of the characteristics of leadership is a tendency to swim against the tide of popular opinion or the seemingly powerful majority. Leaders are in many ways contrarians. One of the best illustrations of this fact is a man called Noah, the tenth generation from Adam, the first man.
We read that Noah was a righteous man, who was blameless among the people of his time and that he walked with God. That headline summary of the man provides us with a simple caption of the reason behind his success as a leader. We see that even more clearly when we look at the details of the narrative of his life and consider the decisions and actions that he took.
The key to Noah’s success is that fundamentally he was a man who pushed against the tide of popular opinion. He refused to be boxed in by the views and lifestyle of the majority of people around him.
Noah was a man who had a clear vision of how he should live his life, regardless of what other people thought or how they conducted their lives. Noah lived righteously and blamelessly before God. Noah spent a significant proportion of his life single-mindedly enacting his life purpose, a key element of which was to build an ark.
One of the hallmarks of a leader’s life is that it is often a very lonely road. That is because very few people around the leader have the ability to see or understand what the leader perceives, or sometimes the leader’s actions. Reactions to the leader range from indifference or mild criticism, to ridicule or open hostility. Noah was the original contrarian. As a leader he saw into the future and was totally committed to taking the necessary steps to fully prepare for it. His tunnel vision fortified him against popular opinion.
If you are going to be an effective leader, you must be sure of your vision and direction and be unflinchingly committed to executing your mandate and programme, regardless of what people are saying or doing. In the end, Noah was proved right and through him God preserved the human race.
If you are going to be a visionary contrarian, one who leads when others are in opposition, it will mean spending your time doing things others disagree with. This may involve years of seemingly fruitless labour. Persist; continue to swim against the tide, because in the end, you will be vindicated.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2017©
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About the Author:
Emmanuel Mbakwe is a Pastor, an apostolic leader, business advisor, leadership coach, mentor, and published author. He is the immediate past General Overseer of the Apostolic Church UK. His vision and heart’s desire is to help people realise their God-given potential and fulfil the purpose of God for the life.