There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV 1984)
Any gardener knows that you plant your vegetable seeds in the spring and early summer, not mid-winter! There is a right time and a wrong time for certain activities. And so it is in your leadership. Timing is everything!
When Jesus went to the wedding in Cana, the wedding party ran out of wine. Mary turned to her Son and told Him to please do something about this socially awkward embarrassment (perhaps this was an extended family member’s wedding, thus Mary’s insistence that Jesus help). Jesus replied, “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” John 2:4 (NIV 1984) Note Jesus’s sense of timing (regardless of the timing, He did help solve the problem).
We observe some three years later at the end of His public ministry, Jesus is praying the night before His crucifixion. He says, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” John 17:1 (NIV 1984) Now, the time was right for the completion of what He came to earth to do. Timing is everything!
The Ecclesiastes passage above says that there is a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to plant and a time to uproot. There is a time and a season for everything under heaven. As Kingdom leaders, it’s our job to know what time and season we are in and lead accordingly.
Leading change processes are a part of good leadership. No leader wants to maintain the status quo. But, those we lead can only take so much change and a certain rate of change. Push too hard and they will dig in their heels and refuse to move further. Move too slowly and they will not embrace the change process, for they see no need to truly change. It’s a matter of timing – going too fast or too slow can bring trouble. Timing the rate of change is an art form, not a science.
Strategic leadership sees into the future time horizon by faith and seeks to implement new initiatives to move from current reality to the desired future state. But the sequence on the steps to move from here to there and the timing of the “travel” is key to accomplishing the mission. Great plans can come to naught due to a lack of careful attention to the timing of implementation.
What time is it? Do you know?