“Expect the unexpected.” On a surface level, this doesn’t sound like a leadership principle. It’s more of an observation. Life has a way of throwing you curveballs. Nobody “expects” to be in a car accident or to have a global pandemic foisted upon them. But it happens. So where does good leadership fit? Well, consider this. “While we cannot always predict the unexpected, we can take steps to prepare for negative outcomes and maximize positive opportunities.” Building resilience and contingency plans can help us better navigate uncertain situations. Let me define resilience. “…the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties.
Perhaps it will help our understanding by thinking about what makes a good chess player? They have the ability to think several steps ahead of their opponent. The great chess players are called super grandmasters. I’m told they can think as much as 25 steps ahead of their adversary. They are rarely surprised by a move on the board.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. Paul wanted the early church to be prepared when a loved one dies. He makes the above statement and then outlines the events of the future (verses 14-18) that will affect everyone. He’s saying, be prepared to encourage others when the “unexpected” comes.
DesiringGod.org suggests some well thought out counsel.
1. Expect unexpected needs…from family, friends, neighbors, your church.
2. Prepare for inconvenience…most of the important things of life come during times of inconvenience,
3. Admit your insufficiency to solve things yourself…ask God and others for help.
4. Remember, God is eager to help…Luke 11:13 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”