Leaders: People Who Are "On To Something"

It is always interesting to be around someone who is on to something.
Interesting - what a mild word! 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote, interrupted by God

Let's find another word or two that are better descriptions of being around others who are "on to something."

How about exciting?
What about invigorating?
Maybe challenging?
And at times - even exhilarating!
Remember, terrifying is a close cousin to exhilarating!

When we are around people who are "on to something" they have a way of drawing us in. 

Stephen Nichols, in his EXCELLENT book, Bonhoeffer and the Christian Life, says this about Dietrich Bonhoeffer (after this - DB).  Bonhoeffer was indeed on to something very powerful. Very important. Very different. Very scarce and therefore, very necessary.

Now, I can't take the time, here, to tell you what it was that DB was on to, but I can say this.

DB was on to something very important and powerful.
Because DB was on to something so important and powerful, it utterly, thoroughly, radically changed him.
What DB was "on to" became his life mission, vision, passion and purpose.
What DB was "on to" came to define and orient him.
And what DB was "on to" is what drew so many others to him. What DB was on to, is what they wanted to be "on to."

That is a powerful way to understand leadership. Leaders are those who are "on to something." I mean - they are really, really on to something. They are on to it - intensely, doggedly, persistently, passionately, creatively, innovatively, daringly (and who knows, but maybe even from time to time, recklessly) on to something.

And that something (or Someone) is "on to them." It weighs down on them. It hones in on them and it hounds them.  It tugs and pulls. It pokes and prods. And finally, it settles down and nestles in to the nooks and crannies of their heart, singing in their soul and inevitably bleeding forth from every pore and at every opportunity.

Bonhoeffer was on to something and something was on to him. 
That's the nature, the way, the reason, the purpose, the essence of leadership.

Leaders are those who are on something that that something is on to them.

So - what are you on to? I mean, not just casually, occasionally, intermittently on to . . . but passionately, desperately, compellingly on to?

Here is what I know. If a half dozen of the closest people around you can't IMMEDIATELY say what it is you are on to - then you are not on to it very much. And it is not really that significant to you... and if it is not on to you - then it will never be on to them through you.

What DB was on to 70-80 years ago, was so powerful, so important, so vital and so scare, he wrote about it, preached about it and spread it in such a way - that today, decades later - it is still "getting on to others." It got on to me in the last few weeks. That is leadership! Continuing on that long after you are gone!  Wow...

Tomorrow - Getting on to  Something.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International