• Randy Swaim

Faith Based Leadership: “Take the Coat Off!”

For this blog, I offer a basic awareness that leaders must be aware of in today’s environment that is rooted in one simple word from Faith but applies in many areas of leadership in any area. First, let me point out the word with the true meaning and then I will follow with a brief application for which leaders need to be aware and illustrated by Darryl Strawberry’s story and testimony.


“Take the Coat Off!”

First, let my simply point out that the word, that is often misunderstood, is simply the word Repentance. Robert Morris correctly pointed out in a talk that when someone understands the original language, the definition is different than many realize. When one looks at the original language, Repentance means CHANGE and it focuses on...


“…when one needs to change their thinking and mindset….”


…and this would be followed by a change of Behavior.


There is a negative reality that is prominent ion our society right now and it affects team members and unfortunately it causes managers to be problematic in many ways. It is something that began decades ago but has “slithered into our society” and leaders must be aware of it and avoid it. The first time I ever saw this at play was back in the 1983 time frame and even at that time it caught my attention and I realized it was wrong. At that time, I remember a commercial where Peter Jennings, the sole anchor of ABC World News Tonight from 1983, was selling their program to bring people to their news. I will never forget and remember that on that commercial Peter stated…


We will not just tell you about the News….we will tell you what to think about the news!”


Immediately I realized that Erroneous & Dysfunctional approach facilitated by that even about 4 decades ago,


When you take a look at people today, there is a real sense that is common today that people, rather than look at facts, would rather manipulate others to give them applause even if it is not warranted in reality. They want to win and pat themselves on the back and take a bow even if the were not supported by facts. In Neuroscience, it is one way in which the Dopamine Fix commonly drives people today. Rather than synergistically engage in discussion and working together, often people seek to manipulate and get others to surrender so they do not have to engage in the discussion. Often people try to make it what they want it to be even if it is not.


One great example that illustrates this problematic application can be seen in some sales efforts today and is a subtle mindset that I have described as:


“It is not critical what I can do for you…..it is only important what I can convince you that I can do for you…whether I actually can or not!”


You may remember that Darryl Strawberry was a famous Baseball player for 17 years and won the Rookie of the Year Award. However, life in “the fast lane” caused him problems and he was not inducted into Hall of Fame. His life involved aspects of drugs and alcohol and some jail time. During an interview, he pointed out a question that his wife asked him as he struggled through all this. He testified that she would ask him:


“When are you going to takeoff the coat and step forward to become who you were meant to be?”


She realized he was just arrogantly focusing on his past of being a great baseball player and not what was currently going on in his life. He was not focused on The Real Situation. On a side note, Darryl has my absolute compliments and respect for how he Repented in his mind and pulled through that destructive and painful time and now as a leader is truly making a positive difference in others.


Many people today are doing the same thing in their life. When a leader thinks of “Repentance” in my context, it simple means that leaders must not just require people to see the way they want them to but to work together and see the facts & truth and to understand that the truth is often in the middle of two people arguing. So I ask you:


How do you see the societal narcissism of today getting into your thinking as a leader?

What do you need to do to Take of Your Coat and Step Forward to your destiny?


Some of this can be very insidious but give some thought and what are some the approaches that you need to rethink?


Randy Swaim, Coaching for Relevance, LLC

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