Most leaders have endured the test of a lion's den.
During one season of my career, I provided a marketing research tool to over 80 television stations. It was a fairly novel way of defining a television viewing audience and my clients were using the research to significantly increase revenue.
One smallish group of stations had called me into a meeting with their group of stations because they were having difficulty with the learning curve. They were not happy with my research because they didn't attend training sessions and were not making the money they expected.
I remember the meeting was held at a Ritz-Carlton hotel. It's hard to forget a Ritz.
I arrived at the meeting room early and was told to wait in the hall. This was my first clue that the room was filled with lions. A friend and general manager came out of the room to tell me that there were a couple of people in the room who were waiting to have me for breakfast. Clue two.
I sort of enjoyed watching people walk down the hall of the Ritz. I noticed particularly, the young families with several children. I wondered how they could afford to stay at such an expensive hotel.
Actually, I wondered how television execs could afford it as well.
I watched a happy fellow with a small ladder in tow, stop at a chandelier across from where I was sitting. He climbed the ladder and began to clean each teardrop of the chandelier. He whistled while he worked. I was working but not whistling.
About that time, the stone guarding the lion's den was rolled away and I was summoned to the meeting. When I walked in the door, I'm convinced I heard growls and saw big gnarly, frothing cuspids.
I took a seat at the head of the table and they asked me if I had any opening comments.
I think they were asking me if I had any last words before my execution.
I can still remember my opening volley.
"While I was waiting to join you, I offered the guy out there cleaning a chandelier a one-hundred-dollar bill to trade places with me. He said sir, you don't have enough money to get me down off of this ladder.
It was like someone unplugged the generator. They laughed and applauded. I guess you would have had to be there to understand the complexity of my words and their response. I survived the lion's den and I heard later that they wished their young sales team could learn to handle a review meeting as well.
I walked in the room with faith that God would be there for me and give me the words to say. The Holy Spirit inspired my response to every question. I had peace and God gave me His favor to control the meeting.
I learned that knowledge workers and laborers can all be led by love. I learned that leaders must be able to provide hope to the hearers at every opportunity.
Daniel was a hope distributor and lived to tell about it.
Daniel's success resulted from a consistent pattern of making good choices. The people who opposed Daniel could find no wrong in anything he did. When the attackers came for him, they concocted a scheme that worked because Daniel's faith was predictable.
After King Darius's decree against prayer for thirty days, Daniel simply went to his home and prayed "as had been doing previously" (Dan. 6:10).
The king was forced to order Daniel into the lion's den as required by the original decree. The king's words to him were telling:
"Your God whom you serve continually, He will deliver you" (Dan. 6:16).
Daniel was a merchant of hope through the way he lived his life. The king and others saw Daniel as a man of faith. King Darius believed that Daniel would somehow survive the lions because of the faith that Daniel had consistently displayed.
A leader's faith provides hope while serving on a ladder or inside a palace.
It's not about the test.
"Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spoke and said to Daniel, "Your God whom you serve continually, He will deliver you"" (Daniel 6:16).
Platform Tip No. 134
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
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