‘If only more people could follow his example, instead of taking the path of appeasement in the name of cultural sensitivity, the long years of murder and mayhem wrought by the Islamists on the West might come to an end.’ — Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Unherd,
Every Leader Must Master This One Very Important Skill
A practical approach to leadership is to look at it as a collection of skills. The specifics are slightly different for everyone, depending on individual strengths and direction. But there’s one important skill that every leader needs to master—something that will benefit you no matter what your leadership style may be, what your specific role is or what field you’re working in. Once you master it, you’re positioned to make a huge difference for your organization and the people you lead.
The skill of connecting is the secret sauce of great leadership. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
When you connect, you get involved. When you’re connected, you become immersed in everything that’s going on—with your organization and with your people. You can’t possibly understand the scope of your leadership without leaving the executive floor and diving into the details of the operation. The best leaders are present and involved with their people.
When you connect, you hear better. Connected leaders make the time to listen thoughtfully and follow up with questions that dig deeper. They’re constantly paying attention not only to what’s being said but also to why it’s being said. Spending time every day truly listening to your people creates a sense of mutual understanding and shared success. It builds trust and creates opportunities for candor and understanding.
When you connect, you value and appreciate. When you master the art of connection, you’re positioned to see people’s strengths and accomplishments firsthand. You begin to build relationships, and those relationships make it more meaningful when you express your appreciation. We all want to feel valued, and expressing a deeply held appreciation for what people do is the best way to make them feel valued—which in turn motivates them to keep learning and growing.
When you connect, you show care. When you focus your leadership on connection, you create an environment that fosters loyalty and encourages retention. When you understand people as individuals, you’re better prepared to help them set ambitious goals and coach hem in doing great things.
When you connect, you make it personal. Employees value personal connection—nobody wants to follow a leader they don’t know or understand. When people perceive a gap between themselves and their leaders, it creates a climate of opposition and mistrust. But that gap disappears when a leader works to create mutual respect, understanding and a sense of camaraderie.
When you connect, you get curious. When you’re genuinely connecting with someone, questions come naturally. As a result, you learn more, gain new insights and ideas, and get an early sense of upcoming opportunities and challenges.
Lead from within: When you make a connection with your people, you’ll notice a significant difference in your employees—and in every aspect of your leadership.
14 FBI Whistleblowers Have Come Forward: Rep. Jordan
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) speaks during the House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Policing Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on June 10, 2020. (Michael Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images)
By Jack Phillips August 16, 2022
Fourteen FBI whistleblowers have come forward to provide information to Republican congressional investigations, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said on Aug. 14, about a week after the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s Florida home.
“Fourteen FBI agents have come to our office as whistleblowers, and they are good people,” Jordan told Fox News. “There are lots of good people in the FBI. It’s the top that is the problem.”
“Some of these good agents are coming to us, telling us … what’s going on—the political nature now of the Justice Department … talking about the school board issue, about a whole host of issues,” he added.
Two months ago, Jordan said that six FBI whistleblowers approached the committee. Two came forward about a memo related to alleged violence and intimidation at school board meetings and four in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. In the Senate, meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in July that whistleblowers had come to his office to provide information, including disclosures relating to investigations into Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings.
“It’s becoming a well-worn trail of agents who say this has got to stop, and thank goodness for them and that American people recognize it, and I believe they’re going to make a big change on Nov. 8,” Jordan said, referring to the midterm elections.
In June, Jordan sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray warning that several former FBI officials were coming forward, while alleging the agency is “purging” employees who have conservative views.
“In one such example, the FBI targeted and suspended the security clearance of a retired war servicemember who had disclosed personal views that the FBI was not being entirely forthcoming about the events of January 6,” Jordan wrote in a statement. “The FBI questioned the whistleblower’s allegiance to the United States despite the fact that the whistleblower honorably served in the United States military for several years—including deployments in Kuwait and Iraq—valiantly earning multiple military commendation medals.”
It comes as Republicans stepped up calls on Aug. 14 for the release of an FBI affidavit showing the justification for its seizure of documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
A search warrant released on Aug. 12 after the unprecedented raid on Aug. 8 showed that Trump allegedly had 11 sets of classified documents at his home. The Justice Department also claimed to have had probable cause to conduct the search based on possible Espionage Act and obstruction of justice violations.
Republicans are calling for the disclosure of more detailed information that persuaded a federal judge to issue the search warrant, which may show sources of information and details about the nature of the documents and other classified information.
Can You Lose Your Salvation?
One of the most frequent questions is whether someone can lose his or her salvation.
Let’s take a look at Scripture.
Galatians 5:4 is a go-to text for Catholics when it comes to defending the belief that Christians can lose their salvation:
You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.
Notice that St. Paul says the Galatians were “severed from Christ” and that they have “fallen away from grace.” Both statements imply that the Galatians had been saved, since to be in Christ and in grace is to be free from condemnation (Rom. 8:1). Yet, these Galatians, who were looking to be justified by the Old Law, are no longer in Christ and in grace. As such, they are currently subject to condemnation, which means they lost that initial saving relationship they had with Christ.
For some Protestants, the Catholic take on Paul in Galatians 5:4 is based on a fundamentally flawed assumption. Basically, Catholics don’t understand what Paul is talking about here! They will say “Paul is not talking about a loss of salvation. He’s talking about a loss of sanctification.”
Protestant apologist Norman Geisler, in his book Four Views on Eternal Security, wrote, “they have not lost their true salvation but only their sanctification . . . they have fallen from grace as a means of living a sanctified (holy) life.”
Geisler gives two reasons for this claim. First, “they are already saved,” since they are called “brothers” (6:1) and have placed their “faith” in Christ (3:2). Second, Paul mentions only the threat of the “yoke of slavery” (5:1) and not eternal torment in hell.
How should a Catholic respond?
Our first response is directed toward the overall interpretation here. An immediate glaring problem is that it clashes with the plain sense of the text. Paul doesn’t say, “You who would seek to be sanctified by the law.” Rather, he says, “You who would seek to be justified by the law.” The Greek word for “justified” is dikaioō, the same word that Paul uses when he speaks of justification by faith in Romans 3:28, a text that all Protestants acknowledge refers to justification in the sight of the God.
Now we can turn our attention to the two points in support of Paul talking about sanctification. Galatians 5:4, the argument goes, can’t refer to salvation because “they are already saved,” since they are called “brothers” and have “faith” in Christ. The problem here is the assumption that “already being saved” (being a Christian) necessarily entails being eternally secure in that salvation.
The status of “already being saved” can just as easily be read within the Catholic framework of salvation. On the Catholic view, a believer is truly saved when he initially comes to faith in Christ and enters the body of Christ via baptism. Being a member of Christ’s mystical body constitutes all Christians as spiritual brothers and sisters. It’s just that on the Catholic view, the saving relationship with Christ that we initially enter through baptism can be lost by mortal sin.
Since the “already saved” status of the Galatians can fit within the Catholic framework, just as it can within an “eternally secure doctrine” framework, a Protestant can’t appeal to the Galatians’ “saved” status to counter the Catholic interpretation of Galatians 5:4.
What about the “yoke of slavery”? Why not hell? Well, Paul mentions the yoke (i.e., the Old Testament Law) several verses earlier, and after doing so, he says, “If you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you” (5:2). What advantage does Christ give us? Salvation! Therefore, Paul is saying that to go back to the Old Covenant—i.e., circumcision—is to cut oneself off from salvation. The reason is because Christ alone is our source of salvation (Acts 4:12). It is in this light that we must understand Paul when he says, “You have been severed from Christ” and “you have fallen away from grace.”
So, in fact, Paul does threaten the Galatians with damnation. As such, Paul teaches it’s possible for a Christian to lose salvation.