Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Today's Maxwell Quote

From A More Excellent Way (1967), 34:
One of the great qualities Jesus had was his ability to demand of his disciples quality in thought and action, which, while temporarily uncomfortable, finally produced a cohesive kind of loyalty based on a sense of accomplishment which all followers very much need to have. One wonders if the tolerance of unnecessary mediocrity in others isn't at some deep level of consciousness, a way of protecting ourselves or excusing ourselves for our own personal mediocrity. In human relationships there are too many tacit, silent deals in which one person agrees not to demand full measure, if the other person will agree to mediocrity when excellence may be possible. In any event, the unwillingness of most leaders to set standards, to administer feedback when standards are not met, to praise clearly when standards are met, stands in the way of the development of excellence on the part of followers with inevitable loss in follower effectiveness and follower satisfaction. The leader who makes no demands of his disciples cannot really lead them at all. The sense of new excitement and new challenge generated by the gospel will be blunted by leaders who shield followers from the full demands of followership.