Mr. President, Will You Take My Advice?

This week will be the official transition of power to our 45th President of the United States.

There has been a great deal of discussion over the last year, during the campaign, the election, and now the transition as to the good and the bad that will come based on the new commander-in-chief. But there is one thing I know for sure:

God is sovereign and remains in control!

This article has nothing to do with red or blue. It is also not about left or right. It’s about how we should lead and how we should pray. If given the opportunity to provide a letter to our new President, this would be my advice to him.

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Letter to the President

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations for being elected as the leader of the United States. What an amazing accomplishment!

I know there is both a great deal of excitement, anticipation, and enthusiasm as well as consternation and concern over your election. Therefore, I thought I might provide some thoughts for you to consider as you take on this significant leadership role. I, along with all Americans, truly want you to be successful. All good things emulate from effective leadership and that responsibility rests on your shoulders during the next 4 years.

Positional authority does not necessarily lead to influence. The best way to lead is to be a leader of moral authority and high character and when you do so, you will gain the trust and respect of the American people. Here are some ways that you can be a leader we want to follow:

  • Be a leader that maintains a focus on those you are serving. Be present and approachable, always listening to the American people. If you do this, we will be behind you all the way!
  • Be consistent and always align your actions with your words. For us to trust you, it is imperative that we see you walking your talk. When we see alignment between the values of our nation, your words, and your actions, we will be behind you all the way!
  • Be committed to doing what is right in God’s eyes, not necessarily what is popular in our world. We need a courageous leader who runs all decisions through our nation’s purpose and values and won’t deviate for personal gain, or ease of a way forward. If we see you always striving to do the “right” thing, we will be behind you all the way!
  • Be a man of personal sacrifice. As Americans, we most closely identify with leaders that are enduring some of the same things we are. We like leaders who are willing to sacrifice for the greater good of those they are serving. If we see you sacrificing on our behalf, we will be behind you all the way!

A couple of experts on moral authority and high character leadership would be Nehemiah and Jesus. I would encourage you to read about Nehemiah and his leadership in rebuilding a country, as well as Jesus and His leadership in building a following. I think studying both of these leaders could be extremely helpful to you as you begin your Presidency.

I have a few more things I want to share with you, but I don’t want to overwhelm you in this first letter. I would respectfully ask you to digest this information and reflect what you might learn from Nehemiah and Jesus’ examples as you get started. I will drop you a second note on key aspects of your leadership next week.

In great respect,

Mark Deterding[/message] [su_spacer]

Your Reflections

As you read this letter, I hope you see that this advice is applicable for all leaders, not just our new President of the United States. Where can you improve your moral authority and personal character? With your spouse, your children, the people within your sphere of influence? I encourage you to consciously make an effort to do so today.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 1 Timothy 2:1-2


Mark W. Deterding
Mark W. Deterding
MARK Deterding is an author, speaker, consultant, executive coach and the founder of Triune Leadership Services, LLC. His purpose is to work with leaders to help them develop core servant leadership capabilities that allow them to lead at a higher level and enable them to achieve their God-given potential. He has written two books, A Model of Servant Leadership, and Leading Jesus’ Way. With over three decades of experience directing companies and developing leaders, Mark created A Model of Servant Leadership parallel to the principles that Jesus himself illustrated. Working with organizations, leadership teams, and executives one-on-one, he helps bring focus, clarity, and action to make things work. He also conducts training programs to teach faith-based servant leadership principles. His greatest passion is seeing the impact servant leadership has on people’s lives and beyond. Prior to Triune Leadership Services he worked for 35 years in the printing industry holding senior leadership positions at Taylor Corporation, RR Donnelly, and Banta Corporation. He is an accomplished executive with a proven track record for developing purpose-driven; values based teams that drive culture improvement, enhanced employee passion, and improved business results. He is featured in Ken Blanchard’s book “Leading at a Higher Level”, and has been a featured speaker for the Ken Blanchard Companies Executive Forum in both 2007 and 2011. Mark lives in Alexandria, Minnesota with his wife Kim. They have two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and three grandchildren, so far. To find out more about Mark and his work, visit Triune Leadership Services via the Link adjacent his Photo above.

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  1. Hello Mark, a well written letter to the future leader of our country in a matter of hours. I will pray that this letter may somehow lead itself to his desk, regardless how long it takes and I will pray for that. May God be with us in these next 4 years as He seemed to be with us in this election.

    • Amen! I join you in that prayer, and I will also commit to re-reading this letter on a consistent basis to stay grounded on these servant leader principles as well, to try to model the way and build a momentum around this type of leadership. We can make a positive impact one by one! Blessings on your journey of leading Jesus’ way!