A good leader is unpredictable

Tue, 7 Jun 2016 Source: Dag Heward-Mills

A good leader will follow the spirit’s leading and become unpredictable in a good way. I am not talking about failing to turn up for your appointments or programmes. I am talking about not being predictable in your style, your moves, your plans and your activities. It is time to overcome familiarity by learning to be unpredictable.

Having a programme in the same way, at the same place every year and doing exactly the same things will cause your followers to glance at each other knowingly. They know what to expect and they know what is coming next. They begin to yawn and to sleep whilst you do exactly what they expected you to do. Repeating yourself in a very predictable way makes people familiar with you.

When Jesus went to His hometown, He could not perform miracles because of familiarity. He wanted to do great things but He could not! (Mark 6:2). Why was the greatest power on earth prevented from flowing and blessing the people? Familiarity! Familiarity is the only thing that could stop the power of the Holy Spirit from working in the ministry of Jesus. Familiarity will stop the power of God from flowing in your ministry.

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, BUT CANST NOT TELL WHENCE IT COMETH, AND WHITHER IT GOETH: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

John 3:8

The Holy Spirit is the mysterious and powerful third member of the Trinity. The bible says you cannot tell when He is coming and where He is going. All this adds to the mysterious power of the Holy Spirit. Many of us have tried to determine where and when the presence and power of God will manifest. Some have said, “If we pray in tongues for five hours the presence of God will appear.” Others have said, “If we fast for seven days we will feel the glory of God.” Others have thought, “If we hold our peace without chatting and jesting, the power of God will not leak away and we will experience a mighty move of the Spirit.” And yet you and I have experienced the presence of God when we did not fast, when we did not pray and when we were chatting with our friends.

We have also fasted, prayed and waited on God without feeling anything at all. Indeed, the Holy Spirit is unpredictable in His ways, His plans and His presence. The wind blows and you cannot tell where it is coming from. That is how the Holy Spirit is. You can never tell when or how He is going to flow in our midst.

Have you ever wondered why human beings are able to catch wild animals? It is because they are very predictable. They always do the same things in the same way and at the same time. You should watch a snake trapper hunting for snakes. You will be amazed at how he will go to specific locations and uncover a snake to your amazement. When you are predictable you are easy to monitor and easy to trap.

German Predictability

The Germans fought many winning battles in Europe. Their chief strategy was Blitz Krieg. This was a lightning strike in which the German military would invade at top speed covering several miles in a short while.

During the invasion of the southern part of Russia by the Germans, under what was known as Operation Blue, the blitz krieg strategy was not as successful as it had been a year earlier. One year earlier, the Germans had invaded Russia in what was known as Operation Barbarossa. During that operation, they had used the strategy of blitz krieg successfully. Through lightning strikes, the Germans had taken so much land in a short time.

Germans are known for their precision, their time keeping and their regimental behaviour. By the next year, the Russians had gotten used to the predictable style of blitz krieg attack and would simply outpace the invading Germans avoiding confrontation. This would allow the Soviets to strike back at the Germans who were now deep in their territory.

The Russians knew that the German planes would come at a particular time, followed by the tanks, etc., in a very regimented way. Their predictable pattern of attack allowed the Russians to predict exactly when the Germans would implement their blitz krieg strategy. This time, the Russians were ready and eventually defeated the Germans, driving them out of Russia. A good general must be unpredictable. Your strategy may be good, but too predictable to be successful!

Most people expect their leaders to follow a known pattern. If you are leader, you ought to disappoint them sometimes and upset their expectations. Do ordinary and expected things sometimes, but combine it with unusual and unconventional decisions. Your ordinary ministry can become extra powerful when you are not so predictable!

Columnist: Dag Heward-Mills