Leadership Matters

I’ve thought much about leadership because early in my life I realized I was both designed and called to be a leader (whether I wanted to be or not). Leadership is both a God-given ability (“You can’t put in what God has left out,”) and a learned skill (“Leaders are made, not born”).

Four events happened in the past week that incited my thoughts on leadership. They include the Tucker Carlson/Vladimir Putin interview, the Robert Hur Report, the Super Bowl, and the birthday of America’s greatest president, Abraham Lincoln.

Leadership Matters

I received a message recently from Dan Secrist, an early YWAM pioneer and pastor. He said he did a “marathon” reading of my autobiography last week (One Small Life). His favorite chapter was “Walking with Wise People” where I named fifteen spiritual leaders I had gotten to know and the wisdom I learned from them. 

Dan remarked, “If your book only had one chapter in it, it still would have been worth it if that chapter was the one listing some of your favorite [leaders] and highlighting quotes from each one. That chapter alone is a real treasury of wisdom.”

I thanked him and agreed. If you walk with wise people (learn from them) you will become wise (Proverbs 13:20). 

Four events this week, including both good and bad leaders, reminded me of the importance of wise leadership in our homes, neighborhoods, and nations.

Let’s start with Tucker Carlson’s surprise interview February 6, 2024, with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. I took the time to watch all 127 minutes in one sitting. 

Tucker versus Putin 

In a post-interview setting in Dubai following his time in Russia, Tucker Carlson said he came to Moscow to give the world access to Vladimir Putin’s viewpoints He asked him why he invaded Ukraine and received a thirty minute lecture on Russian history.

Putin’s points? Ukraine is not a legitimate nation and its eastern section is Russian. In 2014 Ukraine conducted bogus elections (a coup d’etat), began glorifying Nazi-like leaders, and threatened to join NATO.

Putin said he was forced to invade Ukraine to stop the aggression.  

For the remaining 90 minutes, Vladimir Putin explained that at the end of the Cold War he wanted Russia to join NATO and become a friend of the West. He said President Clinton (and others) turned him down. He never mentioned Soviet communist expansionism, Stalin’s killing of millions of his citizens, and his own dictatorial powers in Russia.

Putin came across as learned, lucid, well-meaning and misunderstood by the West. He chuckled at times, used humor, and spoke thoughtfully. Tucker Carlson began with the appropriate question of invading a sovereign nation (regardless of the history) then essentially listened to Putin’s dialogue. In my view, Carlson came across as a little out of his element, but with good intentions.

Donald Trump is right about Putin in one regard. He’s very smart. But that’s not enough. 

Leadership lessons from the interview: 1) USSR-Russian communism is one of the cruelest governmental systems in world history and we must not be hoodwinked over evil. Leaders must be judged by their fruits, not words. 2) Putin is a Lucifer-type–charming and intelligent but tyrannical. Don’t fall for it. 3) Carlson is a courageous voice against Ukrainian corruption and the need to end the war, but naive about combatting evil. Real leaders are brave enough to both resist evil and expose the status quo (Tucker Carlson’s strength). 

Carlson also said in Dubai that he admired the “cleanliness” of Moscow. That’s due to Orthodox (Christian) culture in Russia but also Putin’s dictatorial powers.

Real leaders are servants, not tyrants. They inspire people to public virtues–including orderly societies–and don’t use force. 

Robert Hur Report 

On February 5, Special Counsel Robert Hur released portions of a 388-page report that included  details describing how 81-year-old President Biden didn’t remember when he was vice president or when his son Beau died of brain cancer. Biden angrily refuted those accusations the next day. 

But we’ve all seen the truth. Joe Biden has a form of dementia that is getting worse. He never should have been elected POTUS and shouldn’t run in 2024. His wife Jill seems to be his chief enabler and health denier–enjoying the trapping of power more than what’s good for America.

This year we need to choose leaders on all levels that are competent, healthy, and wise–who will  do what’s best for the American people. If we face two questionable choices, we must choose the lesser of the two evils.

We must pray for wise and godly leadership in America and the nations of the world.

Super Bowl 58

On January 11, the defending NFL champion Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime in the most watched American football game ever. Great leaders were in evidence on both squads.

Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers head coach, is an amazing, young, offensive mind. But he made a leadership mistake by not explaining to his players the “new” rules in overtime, and it may have cost them the Lombardi trophy. Exceptional leaders are excellent communicators. You can never communicate enough.

Kansas City won because Andy Reid is one of the best NFL coaches of all time via his work ethic, discipline, and creative offensive genius. His brilliant play call with three seconds left in OT gave the Chiefs a repeat championship.

Steve Spanuolo, the KC defensive mastermind, now has four Super Bowl rings which could make him the greatest defensive coach ever. As is his style, great leaders are disciplined and relentless. 

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes won his third Super Bowl MVP by leading his team to victory with his legs, arm, and incredible poise. Great leaders are “clutch”–they come through when it matters. No one is better at that on the football field in this generation than Patrick Mahomes. He’s now focusing on a “legendary” three-peat next year. 

No NFL team has ever accomplished it. Exceptional leaders aim for greatness.

What I liked most about the Super Bowl was the many godly testimonies of team owners, coaches, and players giving glory and honor to God for their talents. Great leaders use the platform God has given them.

Abraham Lincoln

On February 13 we also celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. He was our greatest U.S. president because of his wisdom and fortitude.

Gary Randall describes the unusual perseverance of our 16th president: 

  • He was defeated for Illinois state legislator in 1832.
  • He started a business in New Salem, Illinois, which went bankrupt. His partner died. But he eventually paid off all of the business’s debts.
  • He lost his run for Congress in 1843 and again in 1848.
  • He lost his bid to become a U.S. Senator in 1855.
  • He ran for Vice President of the U.S. in 1856 and lost.
  • He again ran for the U.S. Senate in 1859 and lost again.

But Abraham Lincoln kept his eye of the goal. He once said:

“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

Another gem: 

“It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do wrong.”

Abraham Lincoln’s primary leadership lesson: Aim high and persevere. Despite his failures, he pressed on and had legendary success.

We can learn many leadership lessons from this past week. Don’t be fooled by evil. Judge leaders by their fruits. Be courageous, creative, and determined in seeking your goals. Use your gifts for the glory of God. And when you stumble or fail, get back up and pursue the prize.

There is no greater example of leadership excellence than Jesus Christ. Humbly follow Him.

Leadership matters.


  1. Dan Secrist on February 15, 2024 at 12:17 pm

    Great thoughts and observations!

    • Ron Boehme on February 15, 2024 at 4:04 pm

      Your texting back and forth inspired me to do something on leadership. Thanks for your great example, both in missions, and in the local church over decades. Hope to see you in a few weeks.

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