When we were in Washington D.C. for the GBCS seminar last month, we met with a staffer in Senator Robert Casey’s office who, on a particular issue, said it was good to receive our input because they “hear so much noise,” much of it negative.
This idea has stuck with me. The noise describes all the stuff we see and hear that distracts us from our mission and keeps us from having peace.
Recently, it struck me that leaders must learn to cut through the noise in order to stay on task and lead with clarity.
Life is filled with noise now more than ever. In recent centuries, the amount of information available to us has dramatically increased through the printing press, radio, television, and most recently, the internet.
All of these things are tremendous developments, of course. But they’ve also increased the noise level. It’s our responsibility to cut through the noise to find those things that are most valuable so that we can stay on task and help others stay on task.
Here are a few challenges leaders face …
- Choosing what we take in and focus on (through reading, listening, etc.). With so many resources out there, it’s impossible to read them all. Leaders must learn to make good decisions about what they read/listen to.
- Using social media wisely/effectively. With so many social media channels (forums, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), leaders must learn to use them wisely and efficiently.
- Prioritizing Bible reading, praying, thinking, dreaming/visioning, etc.
Leaders must learn to handle the noise in their own lives. And, because we have a message to communicate and a mission to lead, leaders much also cut through the noise in other people’s lives!
To cut through the noise in other people’s lives, a leader’s communication must be clear, focused, concise, and passionate.
If a leader’s message isn’t clear, focused, concise, and passionate (i.e., from the heart), it just adds to the noise in people’s lives and will ultimately make little or no impact. This is why one-point preaching, which focuses on one point and building everything around it, is so important (not just for preaching!). I’ve been using this approach for four years, and it’s still a constant challenge to maintain focus!
In addition to being clear, focused, and concise, our communication also has to be passionate. According to Jim Rohn, “Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.”
A leader wants to make a difference in the world. I believe our impact is directly related to our ability to cut through the noise, in our lives and in the lives of others!
Philippians 4.8-9 (NLT) …
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise … Then the God of peace will be with you.
Question: How do you handle the noise?