Kim and I rarely fight over anything. The only possible exception to this delightful fact is how we feel about windows. Kim loves to look out through them and see what’s happening outside. Everyone knows that she is very much an outdoors girl. I, on the other hand, like how curtains and blinds give a certain degree of privacy of outside peering eyes. Kim loves how the sun-light radiates warmth and lights up the room she’s in. Whereas I find the glare of direct sunlight difficult. It’s not that I don’t like natural light or even the warmth which comes from the sun’s radiance, it’s that I like how curtains and blinds allow me to control it and protect my privacy. This dilemma between unimpeded windows and curtained windows is like the dilemma that leaders have to navigate. There are times when a leader must either be fully transparent, or partly transparent, or very discreet. How we use windows teaches us some important truths about leadership.
Transparency in leadership is being open and honest. Leaders know that this is necessary for authentic leadership and connecting meaningfully with those who lend them their trust. There are times when it is necessary for a leader to have their curtains wide open, so that people can see in. Wisdom is needed to know when. Wisdom is also needed to know with who to do this.
And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Conversely, there are times when a leader must draw the curtains a little. A husband and father understands this kind of leadership at those times when their wife and children need reassurance during times of uncertainly and near overwhelming challenges. Then there are times when it is appropriate to close the curtains and either speak privately or not at all.
¶ Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
But a leader loses their connection with those called to trust them when their windows are forever curtained. But this is frightening process for many leaders (parents, teachers, employers, captains, home-group leaders, pastors, politicians). It means becoming vulnerable as well as transparent. This always tests levels of insecurity. But without doing it a leader loses their authenticity. Good leaders are able to move those who trust them by their words. Great leaders are able to move those who trust them by who they are known to be by those who trust them. King David was certainly a great leader. He knew who to be transparent and vulnerable with his key trusters. But as Nathan the Prophet could have told you, when David didn’t do this, great damage was done (Second Samuel 12).
Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.
Second Samuel 12:9
There are leaders, good leaders, and great leaders. Leaders tend to open their curtains too wide too soon to too many. Great leaders on the other hand open their curtains wide often to One. There is One, the Sovereign Omnipotent Shepherd who is veiled in mystery with Whom we can be totally transparent and open. Many of the Psalms are glimpses into the transparency which leaders gave to their Sovereign Heavenly King of Kings.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
Have you opened the curtains to your soul to the One Who sees through them anyway? No matter what challenges, obstacles, difficulties or problems you are facing now, the One Who Sees All sees you and longs for you to open up to Him. In doing so you may discover what I have found that there is great strength imparted simply by being transparent with the Omnipotent Shepherd.