Leadership haunts me, wakes me up at night, reminds me of my words... usually where I've failed. I follow leaders, ponder their words, mulling them over, deciding if they equal leading well to me.
We are all leaders in some form.
The sooner we recognize that, the less opportunity to trounce on people's dreams and failures, realizing later the horrific damage we offer through our words and actions.
We told our kids growing up, be a Jeter. Translation... be a leader. Any baseball fan, regardless of favorite team... i.e. hatred for N.Y. will acknowledge Jeter's leadership.
Leaders are influencers. They draw people. They create energy. They build platforms. They change the status quo, the game, the direction.
Look at Kanye. Okay, maybe don't look. We can lead for good or bad, but we will all lead.
Trump is leading in the poles. I don't even have words for that. My take away... people are desperate for a leader to follow. Many times, they don't know what they believe and will follow anyone with a new idea. That does not a good leader make.
It's just different and different does not equal positive leadership. It's just different. See above... Kanye and Trump. Now there's a team.
Notice, we did not say be a Kanye to our offspring. Not hating... just saying.
The most important role in good leadership is to love your people. Leaders love.
Military, business, pastoral, teachers, parentals... you have to love and care for your people in order to be effective.
The saying, "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care," is true... and people know. I get that... they may not be easy to love. Figure out a way.
See them as Jesus sees them. The same way He sees you.
Leaders initiate relationship
Put your phone down, look around and recognize it's not all about you. Okay, none of this is about you. It's about the people around you.
Leaders laugh at themselves. Have a sense of humor... please for sake of the rest of humanity.
Leaders want to hear from you before they speak.
This is hard, but just DO IT. There are actually other good ideas besides your own. Leaders understand that we must learn to disagree in healthy constructs, allowing others to speak without fear of retribution.
Listen to others and allow for tension. Tension is NOT bad. It is a process that can lead to growth.
Leaders recognize different personalities call for different approaches.
We are not a one size fits all group of humans. Take a breath and figure out what makes each of us tick. We will all get along so much better. Instead of pushing people into our square box, recognize we actually all live under a circus tent and we all get a turn at being the clown.
Leaders are humble.
Write this ten times. And again. But really, arrogance and pride are ugly.
I once had a boss... first time I met him was at a combined meeting of our thirteen centers. He began by berating his staff, all women. I saw pride.
The words, "Pride cometh before the fall," fell from my mouth... almost out loud.
I disliked him in five seconds and told my immediate boss that his time was limited. I could sense his arrogance and it stunk up the room. No one spoke from fear as he shamed with his words. I looked around at these amazing women, their heads down, crushed spirits.
I wanted to get up and punch him in the throat. I didn't think that would fare well as our introduction, so I refrained. Within a year he was removed, I will spare you the gory details.
Leaders are humble.... I have never forgotten this.
Leaders do not fight every battle.
I am a fighter for people. I will err on the side of love for people. Everyday. Do for them, feed them... every time you see them. Clothe them, fill them up. Love them too much. Overdo it! That is what Jesus did!
Because you know what?! You CAN'T overdo it. Not by His standards.
But... I can't fight every battle, because I will lose the war. At the end of the day, I want to win the war. The war for people. So there are times you are going to do things I don't agree with, and somehow I am going to have to stick a sock in it.
But I can still think it is dumb, and wonder why you don't get it. I'll pray for you brother. Get on my level. But really, don't fight every battle.
Never lose the relationship with someone over proving a point.
As one of my favorite Texan women (Jen H.) would say, that's just jackassery. At the end of the day, I am not so concerned that you like me, but that you respect me. So, I will try not to be a jackass.
Leaders desire others to reach their potential.
Leaders cause others to rise up, becoming leaders. We hold this torch lightly, recognizing what we are creating will be held in anothers embrace... sooner than later. Leaders push and stretch others, causing a tide that rises, bringing new ideas and unlimited potential.
We mentor. We release control, as we build new leaders. Hold things lightly... they are from above. You don't own them. God simply used a willing vessel. Stay willing.
Leaders are sensitive, yet strong.
Don't beat others up. Don't be a wishy washy, people pleaser. Listen, validate, be willing to compromise.... but never integrity or credibility.
Leaders have integrity.
Be careful of your words and actions. One silly word or action will kill your credibilty.
There is NO substitute for your integrity and character.
A leader is dead in the water without these. See the sharks circling. Go home. Order a pizza and start House Of Cards on Netflix, because your hand just folded. Game over.
A leaders role is to serve.
Not to be served. Look at Jesus time on earth. He served in the humblest of ways. He washed the filthy feet of men the night before he was betrayed by one of them, beaten and hung on a cross by all of them. We all are guilty of His death. Our sin put Him there, yet He chose to die for us, because He loves us that much.
Christ is our ultimate leader. Our example. Our goal.
You can read all the leadership manuals you can gather in your arms, but unless you look to the Messiah you will miss true leadership.
Leaders never stop learning from others.
I always say, "I never learned anything new when I was talking." Leadership is for all of us. Because we keep learning, we will grow. Make me a better leader.
And for the sake of our nation... pay attention to the leaders around you and don't vote for you know who.
Brought to you by concerned parents everywhere.