A few weeks ago I watched a story on TV about the man who killed Osama Bin Laden. The man who pulled the trigger is a Navy Seal and he is as humble as he is brave. His story was riveting, but there was one comment he made that really resonated with me; in fact, I still haven’t stopped thinking about it. He said that he and his team were the “tip of the spear.”
The “tip of the spear,” it’s not an uncommon phrase; especially in the military; but it is such a powerful statement. When you think of a spear, the tip is the leading edge. The tip is the business end; the point of entry; the focus. It’s safe to say that leadership is the “tip of the spear” in nearly all aspects of our lives.
As many of you know, my family and I, along with a few of our friends, founded and run an organization called APIVEO. Through APIVEO, we encourage and equip youth coaches to teach kids about leadership. In addition, each month we celebrate a child that has demonstrated leadership in their home, church, team or community.
Each time we honor one of these amazing kids I get to stand up and share their leadership story with hundreds, and sometimes thousands of people. When it comes to APIVEO; I am the tip of the spear. I am the face and voice of APIVEO. Leaders are the tip of the spear in their organizations, teams and groups. The kids we celebrate through APIVEO are the “tip of the spear.” Our Pastors are the tip of the spear in our churches; our coaches are the tip of the spear in our youth sports.
God gifted me to lead and I am thankful for that. He called me to APIVEO, and I am thankful for that. However, what I am truly thankful for this year is not my capacity or opportunity in leadership; it’s not “being” the tip of the spear…I am thankful for the spear. You see, without the spear the tip would be…well…POINTLESS! My bride Kristy and our kids Madison, and Christian are my spear. I may get to stand out in front and do most of the talking, but without them I would have nothing to say. The tip might be the business end but without the strength, momentum and power of the spear, the tip is virtually irrelevant. Think about it; a spear is not pulled through the air to its target by the tip. No…it’s the spear that carries the tip to impact. It is Kristy, Madison and Christian that carry me and I am grateful.
Most of us will never go into battle with the Navy Seals. But all of us are leaders in one way or another. This Thanksgiving I encourage you to take a minute and think about the spear in your life. Think about the people that look to you for guidance, advice, and leadership…and look back at them with gratitude for trusting you to stand at the tip of the spear.
Happy Thanksgiving friends.