This is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Leadership That Gets the Job Done” Podcast, Episode 2.
Our Bible verse for this episode is 1 Timothy 3:2 which says, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.”
Our quote for this episode is from Charles Swindoll. He said, “Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it.”
In this podcast, we are using as our text, Spiritual Leadership: Moving People On To God’s Agenda by Henry and Richard Blackaby.
Our topic today is part 2 of “Chapter 1: The Leader’s Challenge”, where we look at the challenge of technology.
The Western world has been on a never-ending quest to enhance its quality of life. Scientific breakthroughs used to be infrequent, but now they occur regularly. The rapidity of technological advance is likewise accelerating the speed of change in every arena of life. It is becoming much more difficult for people to incorporate the latest technological advances into their lifestyle and business. We have not even accommodated the latest technological innovation before a newer, more sophisticated hybrid is announced. If you have been using a cell phone for the last decade, try to remember your first one. A decade-old cell phone is downright prehistoric!
What does the dizzying rate of technological advance mean for today’s leaders? First, they must be comfortable with change. When Richard was a seminary president, he was informed that seminaries were changing so rapidly that every five years these institutions were morphing into something new. If leaders were not constantly reinventing themselves, they would soon be obsolete. To make matters worse, seminaries were notorious for their traditionally slow rate of change!
Business leaders know that fierce competition and shareholders hungry for immediate profits in a global market make rapid adaption necessary. Phil Rosenzwieg in his book The Halo Effect suggests that companies that are largely technology driven find it almost impossible to stay at the top of their market due to clones, intense competition, and changing technology. Business leaders can’t afford to fall asleep at the wheel or they will wake up in a junkyard.
Digitalization is rapidly speeding up most aspects of our lives and creating impatient consumers with demanding expectations. Sophisticated technology has made communication both a blessing and a curse. Electronic messages provide instant access to leaders anywhere in the world. In times past people sent messages to leaders and then waited for days or even weeks for a reply. People accepted delayed responses as a matter of course.
Past leaders could take time to ponder their decisions and consult with advisors before responding. The dynamics of communication have drastically changed. The moment someone sends an electronic message, they know that within seconds they could (and therefore should) receive a reply.
A church youth minister we know messaged six of his youth fifteen minutes into their first class period when all cell phones are verboten. He received a reply from all six in less than two minutes. Busy leaders can return from a lunch appointment to discover dozens of messages awaiting them, all expecting an immediate reply. In any airport you see harried executives deplaning and consulting their cell phones to discover that while they traveled the first leg of their business trip, their in-box was filling up with urgent messages, most of them demanding a reply before they board their next flight. Cell phones can be tremendously helpful to leaders as they maintain close contact with their people, but beleaguered executives and pastors are discovering that those devices designed to make their work less burdensome follow them everywhere, even on their vacations.
Past leaders had certain times in their day when they were inaccessible. During such times they could reflect on their situation and make decisions about their next course of action. Technology makes today’s leaders constantly and instantly accessible. It becomes almost impossible to reflect or to think deeply on a matter due to constant notifications of incoming messages. The pressure to make rapid decisions and maintain steady communication can intimidate even the most capable leader.
The rise of the Information Age has inundated leaders with new knowledge that must be processed immediately. They are bombarded with information and advice on leadership and management theory as well as data pertaining to their particular field. An exhausting parade of consultants claims that if busy executives will simply follow their proposed steps, they will be guaranteed success. Of course, their competitors are also being invited to embrace the same new technology and methodology. Company leaders are facing intense pressure to adopt the best technology and systems quickly so they are not left behind the early adopters. As Brad Szollose observes: “Being able to learn faster is the key to success in the twenty-first century.”
Leaders wanting to improve their skills and expand their knowledge base have virtually limitless opportunities. But where does one begin? Which book do they read next? Which seminar is a must? Which management trend vociferously advocated now will be passé next year? Such a bombardment of information, much of which is contradictory, can cause leaders to grow cynical.
While the Information Age has given leaders valuable new tools with which to lead, it has also placed heavy, unprecedented demands on them. No wonder many leaders express frustration that they are always hopelessly behind. Gordon Sullivan and Michael Harper have suggested the defining characteristic of the Information Age is not speed but the “compression of time.” It is not that events are necessarily moving faster but that there is less time for leaders to respond to those events, putting enormous pressure on them.
Technology has created another growing challenge. Today’s management is mostly drawn from Baby Boomers. However, the Millennial Generation Generation (born between 1980–2000), is the largest generation in American history, boasting 77.9 million people. Brad Szollose coined the term liquid leadership to describe how current managers will have to adjust their leadership styles to manage this emerging, technologically savvy, and relationally oriented generation.
The church is certainly not immune to pressures created by technology. Traditionally, the local minister was one of the best educated people in the community with one of the largest personal libraries. While those listening to the sermon might not always agree with the message, it was difficult to dispute the minister’s facts. Today’s congregants can google illustrations and facts stated from the pulpit to verify their veracity before the minister has stepped down from the platform. Parishioners can now have more information on their laptops than the most studious ministers used to house in their libraries.
Modern churches are embracing technology with gusto. PowerPoint presentations and video clips are commonplace. People can text questions to the minister during the service and give their offering using their debit card in the church foyer. There is increased ecclesiastical competition with the rise of the megachurch. Now church members can watch celebrated preachers on television or the Internet, making their own local preacher seem ordinary at best. With so many great sermons at one’s fingertips, the thought of going to all the trouble of driving to church and searching for a parking place seems increasingly unnecessary.
If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue this topic in our next podcast.
— PRAYER —
Ultimately, if the job is not done, goals are not reached, and the team does not win, then the leader is not doing his job well, because, as Dr. Lee Robinson or John Maxwell said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are called to the ministry define what leadership is and how they can effectively lead others to do great things for the glory of God in the world. As the father of modern missions, William Carey said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.