What makes a Leader a highly skilled Exhorter?
There are probably as many factors as there are Leaders. But there is one common underlying element to all Exhortation, and that is empathy. The Q knows what the FNG is feeling because he felt the same way when he started out from the Status Quo. Exhortation starts right there, with an expression of “I know how you feel Brother. I was there, right where you are and I know how that feels. I have not forgotten. But, there is hope and that hope is how I feel now.” In F3, we call this the Was-Now, which stands for there I WAS, then this happened, and here I am NOW.
Telling a man that the Pain he feels is natural is critical to Exhortation, but it’s not the whole story. Exhortation also requires the Leader to dispense the hard kind of love that Influences Movement. It’s the kind of love that responds to “I can’t”, with “bullshit, you just won’t”. That is why F3’s Credo is leave no man behind, but leave no man where you find him. Though empathetic to how you feel when you start, we love you too much to let you stay there.
When I look back at the Leaders who have most IMPACTed me in my life, I see that they were all a bunch of jerks. Not jerks in that they abused me, but in the sense that they declined to let me wallow in my own excuses for non-Movement and jerked me out of my cloud of self-deceit. They were the kind of jerks who called bullshit on my desire to procrastinate by forcing my lips off of the Crackpipe Of Mañana so that I could inhale the clear pure air of right-the-heck-now. They Dynamically Shame-Goaded me to set aside my fear of Hardship so that I could feel Pain and Chaos for myself and learn that it wasn’t strong enough to stop me. By jerking away my crutches they freed me to walk boldly.
When you try to picture a guy like that in your life do you find yourself resorting to movie characters? We ask that because true Exhortation is a very rare thing. It is much more common for people who call themselves leaders and mentors to accept excuses rather than reject them. What we lack in real life we create for ourselves in fantasy life.
Thus the question about Exhortation. Can you name a man in your life who is an Exhorter who exists outside of a celluloid fantasy? If you can, you are lucky. If you can’t, maybe its high time you became that kind of man yourself.
They are in short supply.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
1 Peter 2:13-17
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment
“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” — Og Mandino
“Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.” — Brian Tracy
“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.” — William James
Leaders Leading Leaders
Instead of focusing on all the “could have beens,” focus on what you can do right now with the resources available to you.
The Black Dot
One day, a professor entered his classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin.
The professor handed out the exams with the text facing down, as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers.
To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions–just a black dot in the center of the paper. The professor, seeing the expression on everyone’s faces, told them the following: “I want you to write about what you see there.” The students, confused, got started on the inexplicable task.
At the end of the class, the professor took all the exams, and started reading each one of them out loud in front of all the students.
All of them, with no exception, defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the center of the sheet. After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor started to explain:
“I’m not going to grade you on this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same thing happens in our lives. However, we insist on focusing only on the black dot – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend. The dark spots are very small when compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds. Take your the eyes away from the black dots in your lives. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you. Be happy and live a life filled with love!”