Heads Up!

Auto-generated audio file using Gary’s voice.

There are two tendencies that people have that conflict with one another. Understanding and managing these two perspectives is essential for outstanding leadership.

Foot Lookers

Some people only see what is right in front of them. Or, to use an analogy, they are just looking at their feet. Looking down is extremely useful because you will trip over things if you are not looking at what is immediately in front of you.

One of the significant problems that many people have is that they hesitate to take steps. They create a groove in their couch by sitting there thinking about what they should do. They are paralyzed. They don’t know what to do next. And they don’t take the advice my wife gives me all the time when she says, “Just do the next thing.”

We must have a sense of what there is to do. Sometimes, that takes the form of a to-do list. If you put everything expected of you on a to-do list, it can be very long. It is challenging to figure out the next thing because of the 24 items on your list. You are still determining which one should have priority.

Prioritizing can take the seventh thing on your list and move it up to number one, so you get at it today. Careful. When you do that, why are you doing that? Is it because taking on what you would rather do feels easier than what you should do?

You must recognize that self-control requires you to do the next best thing as often as possible. But then doing something is better than amplifying that groove on the couch with a clicker in your hand, surfing channels, and doing nothing.

Horizon Seekers

The other perspective is to focus on the big dream. Rather than looking at their feet, Horizon Seekers always look at the horizon. They can see great things. Now, people must see what still needs to be changed – the new approaches just over the horizon. We would never have any inventions in this world if somebody didn’t see something in their mind’s eye that did not already exist in reality. Looking at the horizon is very important because it is on the horizon that we find the expansion to the new world before us.

We all agree that the world is in a mess. And we agree that to get out of the mess, we have to find something new or different to do than what we already have done.


The room has plenty of Horizon Seekers. And the room also has more than its share of Foot Lookers. The critical point is that we have to find balance.

To understand whether you are achieving balance in your life, you need to have some trusted advisors. Everyone needs someone who can help them understand themselves better. I hope that if you are married, your spouse is the best person to help you. But you may be surprised to hear this; I suspect that a teenager in your home may be better equipped to evaluate with you. And they are probably willing to give you that piece of their mind.

I am assuming that church leaders are reading this post. You need trusted associates around you in your church – perhaps fellow elders, deacons, or some other church leaders. You need them to be effective. You need to be able to sit with them, put your feet up, and discuss what you are good at and what you are not so good at. This discussion will help you gain some perspective.

As you sit together, they will probably be willing to help you adjust your life plan to have a better balance. In addition to that, you need accountability to help you move your life forward. Whether it is in one direction or the other, you need several associates around you who understand this complexity.

God has placed you in a body. Remember the passage from the 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. Understand that you cannot be what is needed all by yourself. Take courage from the fact that with a good church body, you can play the part God has for you, and others will help you cover for your weaknesses.