Leadership, a Future-Driven Enterprise

North American August 11, 2022

We live in a world where the immediate takes precedence, as we move from one crisis to another. Yet in all the angst of the present, the greatest want of the world continues to be the want of leaders who will not be bought or sold, who will peer beyond the brink of the present, who will stand for the right and be ethically and morally adept, though the heavens fall, just as it was when Ellen G. White penned that thought. We need leaders who will advance the cause of righteousness in a strategic manner, analyze the times in which we live, stake out a future, then work backwards to the present in order to chart a new path toward that destination.

Leadership consists of balancing the needs of the immediate with those of the future using a mixture of operations and strategy. It is the future, however, that must drive the immediate, because the goal of education is to create a bridge for the world to come. We must go toward a destination that is future, but still present. Any present mission that is unlinked to a future consumes energy and resources without purpose. A reliance on the immediate only means that one day the future will overtake us and there will be no need for immediacy. 

While it is tempting to be consumed with managing the immediate issues of policies, procedures and personnel, these are only avenues to a glorious future, because we are striving for the future. Vision is where you are going and mission is what you are doing; however, in the end where you are going is what you are doing, and what you are doing is where you are going. 

I invite leaders in this post-pandemic era to a new leadership that is not propelled merely by what has happened, but by our understanding of the future, mediated by spiritual reflection, trust, and digital literacy. 

Let us marshal our teams to intertwine our efforts and work towards our vision. We must help our students develop into leaders who are flexible, reach out to their community, guide others towards heaven, and teach our children to become these types of leaders as well. This, then is the whole thrust of Adventist education, to continuously develop leaders who can guide others towards eternity.


Sylvan A. Lashley

E.D., J.D., Associate Pastor, South Atlantic Conference, USA. Served in pastoral districts, high school principalship & superintedent and four college presidents in three countries. www.sacsda.org


  • | February 17, 2023 at 1:01 am

    Visionary contribution to Seventh-day Adventist education!! God bless you.

  • | February 18, 2023 at 8:53 am

    Indeed Dr. Lashley, “the goal of education is to create a bridge for the world to come”. That might mean rethinking old patterns and ways of doing things, inviting younger generations to the table in shaping our thinking about the tools, strategies and mindsets that are needed presently to make this a reality.

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