by Aletha cross posted from her blog Yllom Mormon
We just started the section on Command Men (leaders made in the image of God the Father). Today we’re discussing the leadership aspect of the CM. Remember that Command Men are born leaders, and there are very few of them (according to Michael). Here we go!
Text is in purple.
Where Mr. Command Leads, Others Follow
The Command Man is readily identifiable by his quickness to step forward and take the lead. The Steady Man may have a readiness to act but hesitates, feeling overwhelmed, too timid to take responsibility to step up front. Visionaries have a vision for achievement but sometimes fail to gain the confidence of others to join in their endeavor. The Steady Man waits to see which way the wind is blowing before he moves, and then he moves cautiously.
I’m wondering if Michael would acknowledge that there are times when speeding towards leadership might be a bad thing. Another interesting thought: if Michael isn’t a Steady Man, then how in tarnation can he know Mr. Steady’s thought process and motivations? Because sometimes, what I mistake for overwhelmed inaction in my Steady husband is actually thorough assessment of a situation. Just because he’s not made a decision doesn’t mean he will never make one. Also, I would think that most Steadies (most people) wouldn’t have a problem stepping up if they felt invested into the situation.
Michael consistently seems to have the philosophy that traits like his are good, and traits that are different are bad. There’s no other reason why he would frame Mr. Steady’s waiting to see where the wind is blowing like it’s a bad thing. Sometimes looking before you leap is exactly what’s needed. Oh, and just because Mr. Command is in charge, doesn’t mean he’s headed in the right direction. I wish Michael would mention that.
In time of crisis, in business, in war, and in the church, when immediate, bold action is called for, someone has to be the head that wags the tail and synchronizes the feet. The Command Man doesn’t think twice. He rallies the troops and tells the Visionary to develop a new weapon and then he organizes the Steady Men to build it. When the Command man, in counsel with others, decides it is time to go forth to battle, he directs the Visionary to sound the charge and the vast number of steadies rise up to carry the burden and win the day.
Why are so many of Michael’s analogies about war? Marriage is war. Making one’s wife toe the line is a battle. Now he’s comparing running the church to a battlefield. Honestly, it is probably not healthy at all to assume that one’s life is at war with everything and everyone around it.
I think it’s interesting that Michael says “When the Command man, in counsel with others…” Because from the way Mr. Command sounds, his “counseling with others” would be more akin to me “talking” with my foster kids sometimes. And by talking, I mean lecturing, because I’m right, so I’m going to nag at you until you do it my way. (Is this the right way to do thing? Probably not, but that’s where I’m at right now.) Anyway, my point is, why emphasize that Mr. C is in counsel with others, when it was made clear last post that Mr. Command is THE BOSS and everyone listens to him anyway. The only mental image I’m getting is a counsel of “yes sir!” people. Which seems to be contrary to the idea of counsel.
Oh, and once again, Steadies are seen as little more than cannon fodder that “carry the burden” while Mr. Command stands at the tower, safe and sound.
Being a Command Man carries with it the burden of being expected to make decisions that have profound consequences on the lives of others. It is bearing the load emotionally, hoping that what you have decided this the correct course. It is making decisions without having the luxury of hindsight or second-guessing. It is spending your whole life encumbered with responsibility. Like it or not, you are the man in charge.
It kind of sounds like being a Command Man is a lot like being a parent. Granted, I’ve been a parent for all of 7 weeks, but I still feel like how I deal with these kids will affect them the rest of their lives. I often hope that how I discipline, or talk about things, or encourage them is the correct course.
Actually, that’s kind of a really good analogy. I think that Michael gets so caught up in “God the Leader”, that he forgets about “God the Father”. Then again, considering how Michael deals with children, perhaps he sees no difference.
Amazingly, just as the Command Man is by nature a leader, most people are by nature followers, waiting to be directed to profitable ends. This is scary indeed. Very few people have enough confidence to strike out on their own; and they are not willing to accept responsibility for making decisions that affect so many.
Those darn sheeple, looking for someone to leach off of! Poor Mr.Command, has to deal with them…
Also, I’m curious why Michael assumes that just because someone is willing to lead people, they are willing to take the responsibility. One thing I’ve noticed with leadership, is that they are willing to lead, and have your back as long as you do as they want. The minute you deviate, even by accident, then the finger pointing starts. “You’re not doing it MY way! This mess is your fault!”
I would like to see Michael take responsibility for the kids that were hurt or killed by parents using his child-training book. Yet it seems that no matter how willing he is to take credit for the good, “bad parenting” happens because of the mistakes made by the parents, not by his book.
The Command Man sees the big picture and feels compelled to act, and for that purpose God created king-like men. It is not an easy road, for James said “My bretheren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation (James 3:1)”. The verse says don’t seek to be a master of others, for those who rule will come under greater condemnation because of their expanded responsibility. When they make a mistake it affects everyone under them. And a Command Man cannot take charge five times without being wrong at least once.
Spiderman’s Uncle said it best: “With great power comes great responsibility.” And it’s a good point. If you’re going to lead, you need to realise that you will get the blame (or praise). I think it’s odd that in a chapter about men’s God-given natures, there is the point “don’t seek to be a master of others”. Because Michael has spent the last 3 pages explaining how Command Men don’t have a choice-their nature makes them want to lead! Now he says “Only lead if you can handle the responsibility.”
I guess what I’m asking is: if leadership is a choice (which I’m see both sides), why bother calling it part of nature? Perhaps you feel the urge to lead, but lack the confidence to do it? No…that’s how Michael describes Steadies. I give up.
I think it’s admirable that Michael points out even Command Men can screw up. It’s an important thing to know. But I wish he would go into more detail about how to overcome a mess, rather than just slipping “oh, you might screw up, but who doesn’t?” at the end. It would mean more if it came from someone other than Mr.-“I have no idea why my brand new bride is upset! I wouldn’t let her sleep, or put on shoes to walk on the beach. I used her body every chance I could, and made her cook and drag heavy bags”-Pearl. If you’re going to insist on others taking responsibility, perhaps you should model it yourself.
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