I recently made a new friend who has 25 plus years of leadership experience in the business world. Last week he presented the top four leadership lessons he would share with his younger self. Regardless of our age, background, or current life responsibilities I found them to be timely and vital. Here is a summary of his presentation:

Seek counsel. Do you seek counsel on a consistent basis? When you do, is it only for big things or is it a regular practice? Proverbs 11:14, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” Fourth century philosopher, theologian and writer St. Augustine wrote: “But my true brothers are those who rejoice for me in their hearts when they find good in me and grieve for me when they find sin. They are my true brothers, because whether they see good in me or evil, they love me still.” Do you have a trusted friend you seek out for growth and accountability?

Guard against pride. Why do we not seek counsel? Have we adopted too much rugged individualism, buying into the “self-made man”? When we pray, is it simply for a meal, emergencies or the big things? Or do we daily admit our complete dependence on God and inadequacy to navigate life on our own? Jeremiah 50:32, “The arrogant one will stumble and fall and no one will help her up; I will kindle a fire in her towns that will consume all who are around her.” Pride quickly spreads, like a fire, and negatively impacts others in the vicinity. In what area of your life do you need a trusted friend that helps you remain vigilant against pride?

Be an encourager. Life has enough critics. We have a spiritual life enemy, Satan, who is out to steal, kill and destroy. He comes through many influences that tell us, our spouses, our children, and our friends that they are not enough. We have seen a drastic rise in depression and suicide in recent years. A recent poll indicated that 25% of adults age 18 to 34 have contemplated suicide. That breaks my heart, yours and God’s. What if we all set a goal of daily encouraging others? What if we begin a habit of reaching out to the people who come to our minds and when we have conversation ask people how are they truly doing? And practice active listening! If a poll were taken of the people you met this week would they say they were uplifted through their interaction with you? Would they say you genuinely care about them and in their conversation with you they were heard?

Be intentional. Ask the big question now: What do you want? What do you want for your business, your family, your legacy? I took out a piece of paper and started writing down what it is that I currently want. It is a great exercise that leads to a greater purpose, which brings passion and focused activity. Will we be “do it now” people or be lured in by one of the most dangerous words, “someday”?

God bless you! You are loved! Make this a great week!

Hauser is a pastor and leadership coach and can be reached at jon@growingforwardtoday.com.