Principles of Leadership: Handout

Principles of Leadership:

Leading to the End:

Principles of Leadership by David Guzik: Handout

Session 1 – Vision: Creating and Maintaining

Taught by David Guzik at Reach Jacksonville on Saturday, May 1, 2021

Session 1 Purpose: To see the importance and value of clear vision and purpose for our leadership. To learn how to create and use statements of purpose, vision, and mission.

Introduction: How Do You Get People to do the Impossible?

Nothing Really Gets Done Without Purpose, Vision, and Mission

With any leadership role, you must be able to answer the following questions for yourself, and those whom you lead should also be able to answer them.

  • What is this all about?
  • Where are we going?
  • How will we know we have arrived or are making progress?
  • Why is it worth it?

Defining Purpose, Vision, and Mission

Purpose: Why are we doing this?
Vision: What is our preferred future?
Mission: What do we need to do to reach that future?

A solid sense of purpose, vision, and mission helps you to know:

  • What you should do
  • What you should not do
  • What success in doing will look like

Consider that only 3% of all people who have goals write them down.

  • 87% of people drift through life without definite goals or plans.
  • 10% have goals, but just keep them in their heads.
  • The 3% who have goals that are written down accomplish from 50 to 100 times more during their life than the 10% who have goals and keep them in their heads.

This ought to motivate us to:

  • Set definite goals,
  • Establish a plan of action for their fulfillment, and then
  • Commit those goals to writing.

Biblical Thoughts on Purpose, Vision, Mission

Some Commonly Quoted Bible Passages About Vision

Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18, KJV) Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;

But happy is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 29:18, NKJV)

Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” (Habakkuk 2:2)

  • Write it out—so that you can process it yourself
  • Make it plain so that others can read it
  • Make it practical so that he who reads it can do something with it

God Operates with Purpose

To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 3:10-11)

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel. (Genesis 3:15)

Jesus as an Example of Life with Purpose, Vision, and Mission.

But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” (Mark 1:38)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:46)

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37)

Paul as an Example of Life with Purpose, Vision, and Mission

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 1:2)

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)

Finally, notice that Peter wrote that we are redeemed from aimless conduct – therefore our life should have an aim, a purpose (1 Peter 1:18).

Practical Thoughts on Vision

What Is Vision?

  • A Vision is the preferred future, a desirable or ideal state
  • Vision is a preferred future that comes from the heart, as well as the head
  • A Vision exists within each of us, even if we have not put it into words

Why Defined Vision is Important

  • Defining vision forces us to take a stand for a preferred future
  • The power of defined vision is in the way it forces us to hold ourselves accountable for acting in a way that is congruent with our defined vision
  • Defined vision organizes meaning for the members of the ministry
  • It articulates the goal that provides direction, aligns key players, and energizes people to achieve a common purpose
  • It is a compass for decision-making

Corporate Examples of Vision Statements

  • Steve Jobs, Apple Computer: “Start a revolution in the way the average person processes information.”
  • Fred Smith, Federal Express: “A vision of truly reliable mail service.”
  • The Nordstrom Family: “Seek to create an experience with our stores.”
  • John F. Kennedy: “By the end of the decade, America will have a man on the moon.”

Biblical Examples of Vision

  • Nehemiah: To build the wall
  • Moses: To take Israel to the Promised Land
  • David and Solomon: To build the temple
  • Jesus: Creation, salvation, re-creation

Fundamentals of Vision

  • A vision is fundamental to the success of any organization
  • The purpose of vision is to help create the future
  • A vision must be effectively communicated

The Idea of an Organizing Principle

This is a brief statement that condenses and summarizes your Mission and Vision. It is a common thread that runs through who you are and what you are about to do.
Some examples (past and present):

  • Ford Motor Company ~ Where Quality is Job 1
  • Federal Express ~ The World on Time
  • Motorola ~ Quality Means the World to Us
  • Calvary Chapel Oxnard ~ Becoming More Like Jesus, by Learning and Living God’s Word

Steps to Define Your Vision

1. Pray: Ask the Lord to make your calling and vision clear.
2. Spend time recording initial thoughts, dreams, life-long desires, and abiding urges.
3. Answer this question: “What really excites me in terms of how I would chose to spend the rest of my life?”
4. In 20 years, where would you like to be and what would you like to be doing?
5. What do you believe is your specific calling and the gifts God has given you to accomplish it?
6. What is your strongest spiritual gift?
7. Get alone for a couple days for fasting and prayer over all this.
8. Record your thoughts about all of the previous steps.
9. In the fewest words, summarize #8.

Discussion Questions

1. Do you consider yourself a visionary person? Do you find it easy to think about the future and how things should or might be then? If you are not a visionary person, do you still need to have vision for your leadership and ministry?

2. What happens to a ministry when it lacks vision? Have you seen or experienced this up close?

3. Who are some good examples of visionary leadership that you have seen? Do you think these people were visionary by nature or do you think it developed in them? How did they communicate vision? How important is that?

4. How can you be confident that vision is from the Lord and not from self-interest? Is it possible to be totally confident?

5. If you had to train 5 people in visionary leadership, what would you do?

William Shakespeare – Henry the Fifth (Act 4, Scene 3) [1599] St. Crispian’s Day Speech (Battle of Agincourt – October 25, 1415)


Of fighting men they have full three score thousand.


There’s five to one; besides, they all are fresh.


These are fearful odds.


O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!


What’s he that wishes so? My cousin Westmoreland?

No, my fair cousin:
If we are mark’d to die, we are enough
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.

Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart; his passport shall be made And crowns for convoy put into his purse: We would not die in that man’s company That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named, And rouse him at the name of Crispian.

He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian:” Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.

And say “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.”

Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot, But he’ll remember with advantages What feats he did that day: then shall our names.

Familiar in his mouth as household words Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,

Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.

This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remember’d;

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition:

And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Session 2 – Controversy, Change, Conflict

Taught by David Guzik at Reach Jacksonville on Saturday, May 1, 2021

Session 2 Purpose: To give Biblical understanding and practical instruction on how to lead through seasons of controversy, change, and conflict.

A. The Bible Tells Us of Three Necessary Things in Controversy and Conflict

1. You need to have a hardened face: Isaiah 50:4-7. This prophecy finds its fulfillment in Luke 9:51-56.

a. To have this kind of focus meant that Jesus had to have courage, and to make it through a time of conflict, we need to have courage

b. When you get your focus and harden your face, not everyone will receive you

c. When you get your focus and harden your face, you will be tempted to get your focus off where it should be and onto vengeance

  • Damage control is not our focus
  • Self-defense is not our focus
  • Political manipulation is not our focus
  • If we make any of these things our focus, Satan has won a great victory

2. You need to have a blind eye and to have a deaf ear: Ecclesiastes 7:21-22.
a. Have a blind eye and a deaf ear when it comes to disputes that aren’t your business.

b. Have a blind eye and a deaf ear when it comes to what the gossips are saying.

c. Have a blind eye and a deaf ear when it comes to what others are saying about you.

d. Have a blind eye and a deaf ear when it comes to defending yourself against false accusations.

Some quotes from Charles Spurgeon

  • “If we treat others as enemies, they will feel obliged to play the part.”
  • “It would be better to be deceived a hundred times than to live a life of suspicion.”
  • “Brethren, shun this vice by renouncing the love of self. Judge it to be a small

matter what men think or say of you, and care only for their treatment of your Lord. If you are naturally sensitive do not indulge the weakness, nor allow others to play upon it.”

Thinking About Conflict

Conflict and Compromise

1. In life and leadership, those closest to you will likely inflict your worst hurts as a leader.

2. If you don’t, you’ll protect and isolate; depriving yourself of the blessing of deep relationships and from being able to be a good leader.

3. This is part of the pain and the burden of leadership.

Thinking About Compromise

1. The principled leader will never compromise with error, especially when that error hurts people.

2. Yet, there are many things that are not matters of Biblical truth, character, or justice. It’s common to have controversy and conflict over these matters. In many of these situations it is wise for a leader to compromise in order to build consensus.

James 3:17: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield,

3. This brings us to an important leadership principle: A leader must build consensus.

4. Some refer to politics as the Art of Compromise. And in many ways, it is. It is the ability to take people with different priorities, values, agendas, and worldviews – and then forge a unit out of them that is able to agree on something. That is willingness to yield (James 3:17), which is compromise.

5. The problem is that some people can’t make a distinction between the two. Some view all compromise as immoral and others are willing to compromise on everything, including their values. The good leader is able to make that distinction.

Two Examples from Lance Ralston:

1. John Quincy Adams could not and would not compromise for consensus. 2) Abraham Lincoln was brilliant at forming a consensus through compromise.

A Few Thoughts from the Book “Well Intentioned Dragons”

In this book, Marshall Shelley described a few kinds of “dragons” that may cause difficulty in a church. These same personalities and perspectives may be seen in many places other than in church.

  • The Bird Dog – always pointing out problems and faults
  • The Wet Blanket – always being negative
  • The Entrepreneur – always ready with an enthusiastic program
  • Captain Bluster – always over-excited and exaggerating
  • The Fickle Financier – using money as a weapon (or as a tool)
  • The Busybody – who wants to tell everyone how to do their job
  • The Sniper – Who attacks from a distance and never face-to-face
  • The Bookkeeper – Keeps a record of every wrong
  • The Merchant of Muck – the person with the “gift” of criticism
  • The Legalist – for whom nothing or no one meets the standard



Stick to your work.
Do not flinch because the lion roars; do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs; do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits.
Do your work!
Let liars lie, let sectarians quarrel, let critics malign, let enemies accuse, let the devil do his worst; you do your best and see to it that nothing hinders you from fulfilling with joy the work God has given you to do.

He has not commanded you to be admired or esteemed.
He has never bidden you to defend your character.
He has not set you at work to contradict falsehoods about yourself that Satan’s servants or God’s servants may start to peddle, or to track down every rumor that threatens your reputation.
If you do these things, you will do nothing else; you will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.

Keep at your work.
Let your aim be as steady as a star.
You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded, rejected, misunderstood, or assigned impure motives.
You may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends, and despised and rejected of men. But see to it with steadfast determination, with unfaltering zeal, that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being until at last you can say as Jesus did, “I have finished the work which You have given me to do.” (John 17:4)

A Few Steps to Help Resolve Conflict

1. Respect

  • You need to respect those you are in conflict with, so as wrong and misguided as they may be, they think they are doing right before the Lord. That doesn’t make them right, but you need to acknowledge that they think their goals are good (even if it means getting rid of you)
  • You need to respect those you are in conflict with, so listen. Can you state their concerns or complaints in a way they would agree with?

2. Rely

  • Rely on the Lord; make it His battle, not yours
  • Rely on others; get some counsel

3. Repent

  • Repent before the Lord, and especially ask Him to search your heart (Psalm 139:23)
  • Repent before those in the conflict, even if you are only 1% of the problem

4. Remind

  • Remind yourself and those in the conflict of the Biblical principles and shared vision connected to the conflict
  • Make it about obedience to God in these agreed to principles, not about personalities

5. Record

  • Consider recording things in a journal
  • Have someone present as a record
  • Consider recording meetings
  • Recall principles of agreement in a meeting

6. Remember

• God is in control, and in some way – you need this

Session 3 Class Notes: Well Done, Leading to the End

Taught by David Guzik at Reach Jacksonville on Saturday, May 1, 2021

Session 3 Purpose: To learn and understand what it takes to finish well, to carry out godly leadership to the end of what we should do.

Caleb: A Biblical Example of Finishing Well

  • Joshua 14:6-9: Caleb Remembers Moses’ Promise.
  • Joshua 14:10-13: Caleb Seizes God’s Promise.

Paul – Another Example of Leading Well to the End

  • 2 Timothy 4:6-7: Paul’s triumphant confidence.
  • 2 Timothy 4:8 Paul’s crown of righteousness.

Jesus: The Ultimate Example of Finishing Well

  • John 13:1: At the Last Supper
  • John 19:30: At the Cross

Practical Thoughts on Leading to the End

Consider: Leading to the end means something different today than it did 30 or 50

years ago.

Five Principles for Leading Well to the End

1. Continue Learning

“Leaders are fundamentally going to have to change the way they lead and manage people. The speed of change is only going to get faster. Their experience is not as valuable as it used to be—only their ability to adjust, adapt.”

“It’s not what you’ve been taught that matters. It’s how fast you can learn.” When you’re through learning, you’re through. (Kraft, Leaders Who Last)

Ways to Continue Lifelong Learning

• Read
• Write
• Ask Questions

  • What here is new or different from what I previously believed or taught?̈
  • Can you share with me how you arrived at your conclusions?
  • What prejudices might I have that could make it difficult for me to hear and understand this person?
  • What personal application is there in what I am seeing and hearing?

2. Stay Others Centered

3. Deflect Derailments – Stay on Track

Dave Kraft’s list from Leaders Who Last: Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective People

1. They spend too much time managing and not enough time leading.
2. They spend too much time counseling the hurting people and not enough time developing people with potential.
3. They spend too much time putting out fires and not enough time lighting fires. 4. They spend too much time doing and not enough time planning.
5. They spend too much time teaching the crowd and not enough time training the core.
6. They spend too much time doing it themselves and not enough time doing it through others.
7. They make too many decisions based on organizational politics and too few decisions based on biblical principles.

4. See and Use Your Advantages

5. Make It Better for Those Who Follow

  • What can you do to make it better for who follows you?
  • What can you do to help them start in a good place?

Summary: Five Characteristics of Leaders Who Finished Well

1. They maintained a vibrant, personal relationship with God right up to the end. 2. They maintained a learning posture and learned from various sources.

3. They lived by identifiable goals and were characterized by a good degree of self- control in their mind, will, and emotions.

4. They saw the need for meaningful, supportive personal relationships. They devoted time to developing a network of such intentional relationships, starting with their marriage and family.

5. They had clear vision, strong Biblical convictions, a great sense of perspective, and a lifelong commitment to pleasing and honoring the Lord through a daily, deliberate surrender to the Lordship of Christ in all things.

(From Bobby Clinton: Connecting: The Mentoring Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life)

Conclusion: Matthew 25:19-23: Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

© 2021 By David Guzik for Enduring Word –