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It was Super Bowl XXIII between the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Francisco 49ers. With only three minutes and ten seconds to go in the fourth quarter, the Bengals were leading 16 to 13. Joe Montana and the 49ers were on their own eight yard line. Randy Cross and his teammates were anxious about their prospects of actually pulling out a victory and becoming champions. And then Montana joined the huddle and a calmness settled in. His cool demeanor set the tone for what was about to happen. “We knew because of Joe we were going to win. He didn’t have to say it. We felt it.”

When others have confidence in our leadership, we lead confidently. When we lead confidently, others have confidence in our leadership. Which is it? Or is it a combination of both?

It’s important to evaluate where we have come from and what we could do better. However, a seasoned quarterback once warned about looking back. He said it makes it difficult to move forward to accomplish anything. He was talking about fixating on what went wrong. Focusing on defeat and dwelling on failures. He was warning about that voice we’ve all heard in our head at some point: “I’ll never get this right! I’ll never learn how to do this!”

There are other voices we have to contend with when we lead. It’s the voice of the Monday morning quarterback who passes judgment on us and criticizes what has happened after it’s all over. “Why didn’t you…” “If only you had…” “You should have…” Those are times when we start to question our ability to lead.

But when we lead with confidence, people look to us for direction, for encouragement, for something to make sense. As we lead with conviction, we give them a goal and a path to it. When others are looking to us for the next move, we are the ones who must take them to the other side of their fears.

It was Sunday morning. Their quarterback, the Lord Jesus, was dead. Or so they thought. Who would they look to now? Who would lead? They cowered in the upper room, fearful of what their future would be.

But then the news came to those disciples: “He’s alive! We saw Him!” At first they couldn’t grasp the possibility that it was true. And then the Lord Jesus confidently stood right in front of them. He told them it was time to look forward. He told them the plan to go into all the world. He told them they would have all the power they would need to accomplish their mission. He took them to the other side of fear.

Our Lord Jesus is the ultimate quarterback. We know He wins every time. He’s already won! And so do we because of His promises and the gift of faith.

When I’m leading, if I don’t look to my ultimate play caller, the One who always has control of the ball and the game, I’m going to drop a pass. I’m going to miss an opening to make a difference.

But when I admit that everything doesn’t ride on me and my decisions, when I realize that my plans and choices are in His hands, I breathe deeply and put my confidence in my Lord Jesus.

Lead with confidence by attending our Encounter Experience workshop.

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