July 17; Military Command Is An Exercise In Compliance, Initiative and Leaders Who Follow
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful


Chapter Seven: Power; 17 July

and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.

Mark 10:44

Military Command Is An Exercise In Compliance, Initiative and Leaders Who Follow


“I was with Patton’s Third Army; we rolled across France.” Decades ago the old man was showing me his medals from World War II. “We would follow him anywhere.” He did not need to be ordered.

The general could command confidence; command an army, lead men in battle. His men followed him.

Real power; real influence commands more than the body. Leadership commands the passions. Military leadership is often mocked and denigrated for the misperception of the ease of getting things done: give an order; men obey.

Instant compliance is indeed a key component of the armed services. This is understood in the giving of directions under pressure without time for debate. But the civilian should note the language and the wording: we often read of ‘military leadership’ and less of ‘military management.’

Real leadership, in the military or non-military, is a skill of persuasion, of earning the respect of subordinates. Leadership in a command position will have the right; the authority to command. A man can have the rank or a senior slot on the organizational chart, but will he be able to get things done through other people?

General and President Dwight Eisenhower said, “I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, then he is gone.”

A CEO will have subordinates but that does not mean he has any followers.

Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager, tells us,

Often we announce a destination: “Here’s a vision; here’s what I want to do.” Then we use a delegating leadership style and don’t roll up our sleeves and get in there.

That’s what managing the journey is. Sure, it’s coming up with the vision and the direction, but then the vision must be implemented; coaching, supporting, giving directions, praising progress, and redirecting.

Jesus did this well. I told the consultants Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, who wrote In Search of Excellence, “You didn’t invent management by wandering around. Jesus did.” He wandered from one little town to another, and people would say, “How do you become first?” Jesus said, “By being last.”

People would ask him, “How do you lead?”

“By following.”

How many people do you know who go to their boss’s house for dinner and the boss says, “Take off your shoes and socks and let me wash your feet?”

Managing the journey of change is servant leadership. We must get our egos out of the way and praise, redirect, reprimand—anything it takes to help people win.

The most effective leader must be a humble, faithful follower. Randy Yeager, Ph.D., Baptist preacher, writes, “True greatness is found in the lowest, not the highest place. Jesus did not say, “Be a dictator.” He said, “Be a deacon.” The word diakonos is used in the original Greek passage and is sometimes translated as slave. It is the origin of the word ‘deacon’ which means servant, minister or messenger. …and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. Mark 10:44.


90 Days in the Word for Business Professionals: One Minute Devotions to Bring Your Life into Focus, 1999. Executive Editor, David Shepard, Day 46.

Yeager RNT, Volumn 7, page 214.


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