Whatever Saul gave David to do, he did it—and did it well. So well that Saul put him in charge of his military operations. Everybody, both the people in general and Saul’s servants, approved of and admired David’s leadership - 1 Samuel 18:5 (MSG)
We came back from our annual Christmas vacation and returned to a cold home. I noticed it immediately when I walked in. The first thing that I did was to go over and look at the thermometer in the home.
51 degrees! I called one of my friends who referred me to a heating and air conditioning guy that he knew. He came over and diagnosed the problem: the thermostat was not working properly. As a result, the furnace was not communicating with the thermostat to adequately heat the home.
Once the thermostat was fixed, it was able to communicate to the furnace the correct temperature and our heating problem was solved.
I often see the parallels between the problem that I had with my thermostat and the leadership that we men are providing to our families.
Men, I have a question for you: What type of leader are you? Are you a thermostat or thermometer leader?
Randy Conley, Vice President of Client Services & Trust Practice Leader for the Ken Blanchard Companies, addressed this question on his website at www.leadingwithtrust.com. His explanation for the differences is detailed below:
A thermometer reflects the temperature of the environment. It simply reacts to what’s happening around it. If the temperature is hot, it tells you so. If it’s cold, the thermometer reflects that reality as well. It’s a dumb instrument in the sense it doesn’t contain intelligent, multipurpose functionality. It has one purpose and one purpose only.
A thermostat, on the other hand, regulates the environment. It sets the desired temperature of the room and actively works to maintain it within a given range. If the temperature rises above the goal, the thermostat signals the air conditioner to crank up and cool the room down. If the temperature falls below the goal, the thermostat causes the heater to turn on in order to warm the room up. The thermostat is intelligent in the sense it’s always monitoring the environment, and if the temperature gets too hot or cold, it decides what to do to correct the situation.
A person that's a thermometer leader let's his environment dictate his mood and how he responds to things. A thermometer leader does not inspire a level of commitment in his people.
If you are a thermostat leader, you will instill confidence and trust within your family. They will emulate you as instill in them the importance of following God and obeying His commands.
David was a thermostat leader as evidenced by the opinion held by the servants in Saul's household. Because of David's leadership qualities, he was able to win over those that would have normally viewed him as a threat and been jealous of his ascent as a military leader.
We would be wise to adopt the leadership style exhibited by David as we attempt to lead our families.
So how are you going to respond to this question? Are you are a thermostat or thermometer leader? I would love to hear your responses. Please comment below.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.