WVPA Sharing

Opinion: Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing

By Greg Kozera

Shale Crescent USA

During my corporate days, I worked for and with a lot of effective managers and a few great leaders. They were good people.

Unfortunately, there were a few managers I worked with or for who I wouldn’t trust to lead me to the bathroom. They put their own interest first. They advanced at the expense of others. To corporate leadership in Houston these “leaders” looked good and said the right things especially to upper management. Their operation looked good on paper. They were profitable.

Greg Kozera

Upper management didn’t know these wolves in sheep’s clothing succeeded at the expense of their people. In some cases, they held wages down to increase profit or reduced cost by short cutting things like maintenance. They got promoted. Their replacement had to deal the short cuts they took and the employees they took advantage of. Some moved into positions of greater power. They hurt a lot of people and damaged the company. These wolves looked invincible. But ultimately their misdeeds caught up with them. They lost their positions or retired. The people ultimately responsible were the people who kept them in power and promoted them. Upper management didn’t see how the wolves were getting results until the damage was done.

Sadly, this happens all too frequently in corporate America. Even churches have scandals. How can we know who the wolves are before it is too late? How do we know who to believe or follow? Matthew 7:15-17 gives us a clue. “Beware of false prophets, (leaders) who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.” We need to look at fruits (results) of those in leadership positions. We can listen to what people say, but we must look at what they do and how they get results.   

We need to start with ourselves. We all make people happy. Sometimes it is when we enter a room. Sometimes it is when we leave a room. We get to choose. Do people like to be around us? Are we bearing good fruit or bad fruit? Do we have a positive attitude or a negative attitude? Do we smile? Do we bring hope and encouragement to people around us or do we bring despair and discouragement? Do we persevere through challenges or do we quit? Do we treat others with dignity and respect? Do we have a track record of success? If we are bearing good fruit, it is easier to see those qualities in others. Jesus tells us, there will be false prophets. We need to learn to recognize them by their deeds, the fruit they bear.      

This week has been rough for all of us with the smoke from Canada’s wildfires. My neighborhood smells like it did a few years ago when a home burned or like a cold winter day when everyone is burning their wood fireplaces, only worse. My wife, Lynnda is staying inside. I’ve cut back my runs to avoid breathing much of the smoky air and began replacing some runs with long walks. It is frustrating not to have any control of the air we breathe. This is a good reminder, we are one planet and what we do and what others do, even overseas, impacts everyone. We all breathe the same air.

We can’t fix the wildfires but there are things we can do to help the bigger situation and produce good fruit. We can buy products made in North America rather than overseas reducing transportation emissions. We can take advantage of farmers’ markets to buy local produce. Shale Crescent USA has brought companies to the region from overseas. They locate here to be in the middle of their customers. We are working with a company who wants to shut down their plant in China and manufacture those products here creating good jobs and reducing emissions.   

On the CBS Morning Show this week there was a segment about climate change. They interviewed a DOE engineer talking about a large carbon sequestration project in Texas. The other guest was a college professor from MIT. The professor thought we should be focused on eliminating fossil fuels by using wind and solar and not carbon sequestration. We can learn something from everyone. We should listen to what academics like the professor have to say. We need to decide if they are a false prophet, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Googling the professor, we learned he had done a lot of impressive research. We didn’t see any real-world results (fruit) to help improve people’s lives or improve the world. The professor wants to shutdown down baseload coal and natural gas providing electricity 24/7/365 and replace it with undependable power sources like wind and solar. Our home windows are closed and our air conditioner is on so we don’t have to breathe unhealthy air. We would be in trouble if we didn’t have electricity. In these unhealthy air conditions and heat, people can die without electricity. What we aren’t seeing from the professor and other similar energy prophets is fruit on their trees. Do they care about people? They never explain how we will have 24/7 electricity without fossil fuels. Night comes daily. What is the dependable replacement and what will it cost us? They have no solution for China’s increasing emissions. 

There will always be false prophets (leaders). How can we tell the good from the bad? Jesus tells us, we will know them by the fruit they bear. We have control over our attitude and actions. We must make sure we are bearing good fruit. It will then be easier to look at the fruits (results) others produce and recognize the ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing. Thoughts to ponder.                                                   

— Greg Kozera, [email protected] is Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. www.shalecrescentusa.com (You can follow SCUSA on Facebook) He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg

is a leadership expert, high school soccer coach, professional speaker, author of four books and numerous published articles.

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