Virtual Leaders?

imagesLife is increasingly imitating art. It was over 30 years ago that the concept of holographic imaging was introduced in Star Wars as Princess Leia sends a desperate 3D cry for help through the droid R2D2. Fast-forward to the recent Billboard Music Awards and Michael Jackson was brought to virtual life and performed “live” before the masses. No doubt about it, a once Sci-fi future is now and the implications are incredible.

Imagine just about any setting from staff meetings to weekend worship services, convention and conference speaking, coaching, counseling and more, all utilizing holographic video. This promises to be a truly amazing platform for organizational/ministry leadership. I can’t wait to see how it serves to advance the cause of Christ and to send my first hologram message! Not to mention my favorite potential use… “seeing” family and friends. Still, in a world already saturated with the use of live multi-site video streaming and tools such as FaceTime, Google Chat, and more, will this new technology enable us to be more effective as leaders?

It could be argued that, regardless of advances in virtual technology, nothing will ever replace actually being there… a living, breathing person with a pulse. As much as I love the latest technology and advocate for it’s use in your organization or ministry, I would encourage all the more your literal presence as a leader of your home, organization and/or ministry.

The question begs, “Are we becoming virtual leaders?” Maybe some of us already have? Here are a few questions to consider. Be honest with yourself as you answer…

When is the last time I spent more than 30 minutes in undistracted, one-on-one conversation with those I value?

Do I send a text, Facebook message, Tweet or Instagram even when I could make the effort to talk in person?

When someone “pops by” for a chat, do I feel inconvenienced and even bothered?

Would family, friends and team members say I am more or at least as approachable as I was one, three or five years ago?

Am I the same person in person as I appear to be through my on-line presence? 

How “all there” am I when I’m actually present?

Granted, I agree with great leaders such as Michael Hyatt that with an increase in influence and success comes a decrease in your personal accessibility. You must become increasingly selective with your time and with good reason. (See http://michaelhyatt.com/091-leadership-success-and-accessibility-podcast.html )

We must resist the growing temptation to become mere “virtual leaders.”  Our spouses, kids, teams and even a few others need our presence, and we need theirs. The Disciples asked after walking with the living, breathing Jesus not long after His resurrection, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32, ESV) If Jesus’ deemed His resurrected presence as vital to His present and future disciples, might this be a good model to continue to follow?

Be live. Be present. Be real for those you love and lead.

 

 

 

 

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