Are you leading with message or miracle?

A young upstart rabbi was causing a ruckus. Oddly enough, it was because he was helping people — so much so that they started flocking to him in droves

This totally pissed off the religious leaders.

These so-called leaders were determined to undermine the young rabbi, if not catch him in a lie or worse. To test him they asked him for a sign, something miraculous. His tone changed from the compassion he had for the hurting people to one of disdain:

“You self-proclaimed smart people see changes in the sky and know what’s coming in terms of weather, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”

In other words, they could see only earthly, sensory things, but missed connecting the dots in the bigger, more important picture.

Unfortunately many of us have that problem — even when we are just talking about earthly things (such as what’s going on in the world that is affecting our organizations and businesses and churches).

In just a relatively few short years there has been an exponential explosion of both content (e.g., news, learning material, grumpy cat pictures, etc.) and access to it (e.g., ubiquitous connectivity, mobility, and a zillion channels, apps, and sites through which to get it). We’re experiencing change that has little or no historical precedent.

And we’re slow to respond.

The question isn’t if the changes will affect every part of how we reach customers or constituents, demonstrate our expertise, and lead our teams. The question is “when?”

The “miracle” many people look for is that magic something that goes viral, generates likes, and creates sweeping change or motivation or loyalty. It’s not that those things don’t happen, but chasing them is a bit like getting sucked into a get-rich-quick scheme.

The real message is that one thing doesn’t change and hasn’t changed in the milieu: relationship.

Getting attention and building trust is an inherently human, usually longer-term perspective that is about being engaging and useful and persistent.

There’s a storm a’brewin’. The world’s looking for leaders with real messages. If you’re up for it, they’re looking for you.