In World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded the Allied Forces. He oversaw D-Day. Later, he was president of the United States.

Eisenhower knew something about being a leader. And he could be blunt in his definitions. He said: "You do not lead by hitting people over the head—that's assault, not leadership."

Eisenhower sent hundreds of thousands of troops into battle. He said, "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done—because he wants to do it."

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. Think about the people who have most influenced your life. Did they bully you? Or were their ideas and actions worth following? It's the high calling of our daily work.

...Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)

Image by the U.S. Army. "Dwight Eisenhower giving orders to American paratroopers in England." 1944 June 6. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Originally Published: Sunday, June 2, 2013

Howard E. Butt, Jr., served as president of the H. E. Butt Foundation until 2014. He is the founder of Laity Lodge and The High Calling, and serves as vice chairman of the H. E. Butt Grocery Company.


Leaders must reckon with a variety of practical pressures: deadlines, financial benchmarks, reputations, production requirements. Yet we are called to lead in response to God's call for our lives, not in response to manmade pressures. This may involve worrying more about broad human flourishing than next quarter's profits, or caring for individual team members more than what "big boss" thinks of us. When we lead from the soul, we lead for the sake of God's pleasure, not the pleasure of others. And when we do this, we live into the freedom that only he can give us.

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