3 Things Leaders Do When Workers Won't

Asleep at desk
Read how Jesus handled weak flesh. (iStock photo )

The instruction was simple. "Sit here while I pray" (Mark 14:32).

The time was at hand for Jesus. At Gethsemane, He needed to pray and asked a few disciples to keep watch.

"Then He came and found them sleeping and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not keep watch one hour?" (Mark 14:37).

Many leaders have asked similar questions:

"Didn't you know I needed this today?"
"How many times do I have to explain this to you?"
"When can I expect the report I expected to receive yesterday?"

It's the "NOT doing" simple things that cause leaders the greatest headaches in leadership. It's frustrating to see the same mistakes made daily. It's even more frustrating to see simple things missed or left undone.

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How did Jesus handle His followers when they could not even stay awake as He asked?

1. He confronted them with questions.

a. "Could you not stay awake..."
b. "Are you still sleeping?"
c.  A third set of questions is implied by the Scripture, "And they did not know how to answer Him."

2. He repeated the instructions and confronted each failure with questions.

3. He led them forward. "Rise up, let us go." (Mark 14:42).

Sometimes the best response is to gather the team and take action together. Any leader could have simply moved on alone from Gethsemane. He could have terminated the employment of his prayer team. He could have issued a stern lecture and received promises such as, "this won't ever happen again, boss."

The response of Jesus to simply gather His team and move on is inspiring. My guess is the disciples felt terrible about their inability to do as their Lord requested. Jesus had much more on His mind and knew action was the best response. Seeing Judas nearby also helped Jesus move His team along.

Jesus also knew of His disciples, that their "spirit was willing;" their heart was good. Sadly, their flesh won the battle at the Garden.

Effective leaders know that people have bad days. The response of a leader to weak flesh should closely resemble the leadership of Jesus.

Confront. Question. Act.

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.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.

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Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.


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