Noah did everything just as God commanded him. (Genesis 6:22 NIV)

Ethics may be an elective in seminary, but it is a required course in the real world of leading. Once you give up your ethics, life isn’t a piece of cake. It’s a disaster … Whenever a door slams shut, a leader breathes the fresh air of an opening window—and embarks on another cathedral-like display of ambition and hope. Before reaching that final anchorage in the sky, leaders build “acts of optimism”: acts of imagination envisioning new realities that prove seaworthy for whatever waters in which they find themselves. A leader is someone willing to build an ark in the dark. Noah listened to a call that others heard as foolishness. Too much of how we lead in the church is based on trying to please everyone but the One who matters. Every ethical shortcut we take, no matter how small, dampens the music of our leadership.

Leonard I. Sweet

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