As we begin all the festivities that surround the 4th of July, I want to utilize this time to pull out some great qualities we can use from those 56 men who put their life on the line for the freedoms we enjoy today. Just by taking a surface level look into these men can give us some great principles to use in our everyday leadership and influence opportunities we have in our businesses and organizations.
Lead Without Fear
These men had great resolve and confidence in their success. This was, I believe, mostly based on their faith in the power and protection of God. They were effectively signing away their protection from the British Army. John Hancock had a large reward for his capture by the British Army. There were other who had their families and businesses threatened. Even with these circumstances, they still pressed forward for the betterment of the people. When asked about the size of his signature on the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock stated: “The British ministry can read that name without spectacles; let them double their reward.”
Fear can be an overwhelming emotional state for anyone. It is what we like to call a limiting belief. If you are fearful of what others may say or think of your actions, then you are limiting your influence. The Bible mentions the words “Fear Not” 365 times. I am in the process of conducting a study on fear in the Bible and have many examples of times that, lack of fear, caused a great blessing. Why is this? Well, the opposite of fear is confidence. Being confident that God will strengthen and provide for you. Being confident that you can succeed no matter the hurdles. Fear will cripple the mind and give you false outcomes based only on perception. Marcus Aurelius gives some insight to this in the following statement: “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” We can, at any moment, make the choice to push aside our fear and chose courage. This will set you free to act!
Lead With Action
These brave and valiant men knew that in order for them to secure a nation that was free from Britain was to take massive action. And they did just that. They debated and argued and wrote and re-wrote, until the final text was just perfect. They took massive action to stand on principles of God and freedom. Some of them continued to take action by fighting in the Revolutionary War and 9 of the signers of the Declaration were killed in the war.
Taking action requires a deep resolve that can only be found in the best leaders. Leadership has no room for apprehension, procrastination or indecisiveness. In order to lead others well, we must be willing to make the tough calls and take action when necessary, without delay. The livelihoods of those we lead depend on it.
These 56 men that took a stand on that wonderful day 241 years ago, to secure the freedoms we realize today. They did it with remarkable leadership and a fearless mindset. They could see what this document would do for the future of our great country and that is what leaders do. They see when no else can and before anyone else does.