Why You Don't Have To Be "Little Hercules"


Puppy dogs and leadership seem so incongruent, but if you miss this lesson . . . somewhere, sometime you'll get the bulldog beat out of you. You will begin to cower like a patsy little pup. On the other hand, get it right and it will safeguard your leadership for a lifetime.

Leaders matter! Your leadership matters! Fail to show up, fail to think ahead, fail to act, fail to lead and the entire organization can fold. With so much riding on your shoulders it's easy to feel like Little Hercules. Everything rises and falls on leadership -- on YOUR leadership. Right? Wrong!

Your leadership matters, but it is not all up to you! 

This is a lesson Nebuchadnezzar had to learn the hard way.

In the 7th century B.C., Nebuchadnezzar was "king of the mountain." He ruled the world. Everything was rising and falling on his leadership. At least that is what he thought until God revealed the meaning of a very unsettling dream:

[Daniel said], this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. . . . At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” Daniel 4:24-25, 34-35

God's message for the monarch is His word for every leader: God is sovereign. Everything doesn't rise and fall on leadership. Everything rises and falls with God.

This is an important lesson for leaders. The demands of leadership can be relentless. We get beat down, worn out, cranky, even fearful. But when we understand God’s sovereignty, when we realize that HE is in control, WE can relax.

God's sovereignty safeguards my leadership:

  1. I see my capacity for leadership and my position of leadership as gifts from God.
    Leadership is a gift. God rules and God gives that rule to whom he will. Proverbs 16:9 says, "The heart of a man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." Paul echos these thoughts in Romans 12:6-8, reminding me that my gifts come from God. Knowing God has gifted me and placed me, I do not cower. Instead, my leadership is an act of service marked by humble boldness.
  2. I see my role of leadership as an opportunity to honor God.
    When it comes to my leadership, I am a temporary steward, not a permanent owner. My leadership post -- whatever it is and wherever it is -- is an opportunity to bring honor to the Most High. My leadership may pay my bills but it is not about my kingdom. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation. Knowing God has given me this moment in time, I live to make Him proud.
  3. I know my leadership comes with the power of God.
    Study the Scriptures. Where God gives the gift and God gives the role, God supplies the power. Moses, Gideon, Samson, Deborah, Daniel, the Apostles . . . they are all testimonies to this truth. Knowing that God provides the power for the task, I am not afraid to take on big assignments for God.
  4. I am able to enjoy my leadership and rest in God.
    While God often calls us to difficult tasks, God gives rest. Jesus said to his disciples, "Come away and rest for awhile." (Mark 6:38) These are important words for any leader who thinks he or she has to do it all.

Craig Carothers lyrics to Little Hercules captures the sense of fatigue that dogs even the best leaders:

There are times when being a grown-up gets to be too much
And your sense of humor seems to vanish in the crush
Of the daily 9 to 9 that keeps your family alive
You're just putting in your time
Does anyone really go home at 5?

You've made a life where no one ever tells you what to do
Now the only tyrant that you're working for is you
It's never easy to keep all the promises you make
But no one's gonna get you fired if you just give yourself a break

 And if you feel the weight of the world
Put your mind at ease Little Hercules

There's good news for any leader carrying a Herculean load. Everything doesn't rise and fall on your leadership. Yes, your efforts do matter. Yes, you must work. Yes, dogged determination is essential to great leadership. But God is sovereign. He is holding it all together. So you can relax. You don't have to be Little Hercules.