Disregarding the command of God, you keep the tradition of men. (Mark 7:8)
Effective leaders see beyond the traditional way of doing things and look for better ways. They do this, however, realizing that some things are so sacred they are untouchable, and they always keep the ultimate goal in mind.
This is why it is so important to have a well-thought out, closely defined, easily understood mission statement. Without this, even the most compelling and charismatic leaders get off track and go astray. A mission statement is essential to quality leadership. Otherwise, personality, pride, and the demands of the moment will be diverting.
For Jesus, "the command of God," doing His Father's will, constituted His mission statement. And the "tradition of men" was never going to sidetrack Him from His goal. He was not to be diverted.
Again, the point to notice in Mark 7:8 is not that the Pharisees were holding on to the traditions of men. We all do that to some extent because tradition helps to take the best of the past as a guide while we walk into the future. Jesus might be wrongly seen here as attacking all tradition. Instead, He criticized the Pharisees for having let go of the commands of God. When you place your own traditions underneath God's will, they will serve as a positive guide, but, when the order is reversed, you will end up exactly like the Pharisees - abandoning God's will for your own personal agenda.
Note the specific example Jesus gave in the following passage, verses 9-13.
Evidently, some Pharisees were using this man-made tradition of "Corban" to evade the clear teaching of Scripture about caring for their parents. In light of the 5th commandment, which speaks of honoring father and mother, this was a truly evil thing to do. 1 Timothy 5:8 reminds us that a believer who doesn't care for his own family is worse than an unbeliever. Christian leaders must never use their calling in business as an excuse to neglect their loved ones.
In a real sense, leaders today have the same general mission statement. God's will should be the overall mission statement of every leader. Under this umbrella, our more personal mission needs to be spelled out specifically.
An effective leader understands his mission, is able to articulate it, and keeps both himself and his followers from getting diverted. Vision, mission, and strategy are all necessary for quality leadership.
Be sure you have a mission statement for your life as well as for every leadership effort you undertake!