Who know what a kamikaze pilot is?
A kamikaze pilot was a member of the Japanese air force, and his job was to take a bunch of bombs, fly to military bases, drop all his bombs, then crash himself into the base, doing more damage, but losing his life in the process.
Kamikaze pilots are only useful if they are committed to their mission. Leaders are the same way. You cannot have involvement without commitment and be effective. It goes with the territory.
There is a story of a kamikaze pilot who flew in WWII. He was interviewed by a newspaper reporter after returning from his 50th mission… The reporter asked the pilot if he wasn’t contradicting his job when he was a kamikaze but still alive after 50 missions? “Well it’s like this,” the pilot responded. “I was very involved. Not very committed, but very involved.”
A true kamikaze pilot only flies on one mission. He gives his life for that one mission. He cannot be involved without being committed. There is no such thing as a half-hearted kamikaze. Commitment goes with the territory.
And so it is with us. If we want to have any hope of being a successful person, much less an effective leader, then we must be committed. Leaders possess commitment.
The word “mediocre” was first used to describe rock/mountain climbers who were involved but not committed. The word literally means “middle of the rock.” It was used to describe climbers who didn’t finish the climb, but stopped halfway.
Joan of Arc knew her life mission by the time she was 15 years old! At 17, she led 3,000 French knights into battle. On one occasion, she told a general: “I will lead the way over the wall.” The general replied, “Not a man will follow you.” Joan of Arc replied, “I won’t be looking back to see if they’re following me.”
At 19 she was burned alive because she would not recant on her commitment to France. The British gave he a chance to regain her liberty if she would only change her allegiance, but she would not. In choosing to die at the stake, she said, “Everyone gives their life for what they believe. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing and yet they give their life to that little or nothing. One life is all we have, we live it, and then it’s gone. But to give up what you are and to live without belief is more terrible than dying, even more terrible than dying young.”
John Wesley founded the organization that later became the Methodist Church when he was 17. He could have done many other things. He was educated at Oxford and enjoyed horticulture (plants), medicine, journalism and politics. But he saw the great spiritual need of England during the 18th century and committed himself to spiritual renewal. He traveled over 250,000 miles on horseback, teaching and organizing churches for more than 50 years. Unlike Joan of Arc, Wesley died of old age, but not until his movement had impacted Great Britain. One history book reported that John Wesley almost single-handedly saved England from bloody revolution.
God equips the called, he does not call the equipped. Your commitment will mean something when you act on it for an extended period of time. When you become committed, you will notices something wonderful. The moment you make a commitment, you will find all kinds of wisdom, energy and resources at your disposal that weren’t necessarily there before you made the commitment. Most people want to see everything before they get committed. Unfortunately, they will never act if they are feeling before they act. They want to “feel” led to do something. Once again, they may be waiting for a while. We are much more likely to act our way into a feeling than we are to feel our way into action.
What are you called to? Have you given it your full commitment? Don’t be a half-hearted Kamikaze. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.