Often our idea of leadership is distorted as one of being in charge. We say jump and others ask, “How high?” The greatest leader of all time, Jesus, did not lead this way. Rather, he led from a place of love. Whether with his innermost circle of three, Peter, James and John, or the greater circle of the twelve Apostles, or the even greater circle of the 70 disciples he personally commissioned and sent, his manner was love.
That the same strategy was used in a wide variety of circumstances shows that it is scalable. This is the example we must follow in all circumstances of our lives.
How does a leader share the love? First, you are a leader whether you have a position or not: someone is watching. Whether in your neighborhood, in your church or at your job, someone is following your example. The question is not whether you lead but how you lead: what are you leading people to do?
This is for you. You may be the leader of a billion dollar enterprise or still trying to make your first dollar in business. Jesus used these principles to lead the entire world and it will work for you.
How do you share the love? Good leadership speaks the language of love. Here are three powerful ways to speak and demonstrate the leadership language of love.
Firstly, Articulate a Clear Path and Compelling Direction:
An effective leader lets the team or organization know where they are headed and what a path to that destination looks like. Clarity is a loving way to invite others in your company or initiative to join you at a destination of success.
For example, 7M-Pact’s clear vision is for men and women in the marketplace, at every level, to understand how God has such great pleasure over them in their work. He has called them into it to make a difference in the world – in a word: transformation.
Begin thinking about your vision for leadership and how you can articulate a clear path to where you want to take your company, team or neighborhood. Can you articulate a clear path to your destination for your project or group? Speaking with compelling conviction will attract people into what you are doing.
Love is sharing the story of where you are going and making a clear invitation into participation. Love is aligning together and sharing the journey. Jesus invited first into His life and then into His mission. This act of love recognized they had been gifted and raised up to these jobs.
Secondly, Leave Room for Others to Step Into the Path
Chart a path toward vision that leaves room for others to step in. It is loving to leave room for others to engage in that path according to their own vision and gifts. Do this and they will love daily, the work they do. They will grow and flourish by their own investment as they discover their part in the overall plan.
Thirdly, Deliver Contextual Feedback to the People on the Team.
The best learning occurs on the job in the context of the actual project or process. This learning is dynamic and alive. It is not theory or book bound, but fleshed out in the context of real work situations.
In the hiring and training of corporate trainers, this principle was implemented in the audition process. Mock training sessions with challenging scenarios and preplanned hurdles provided near real world circumstances requiring trainers to respond as they made their presentations.
At the mock session’s end, the trainers were given objective feedback on pre-prepared criteria. Positive affirmation was given for segments where they performed well and objective feedback along with suggestions for improvement were given in areas of weaker performance. This type of feedback speaks truth in love rather than judgmental criticism. By the delivering of contextual feedback by a leader expresses those on their team that “I love you enough to affirm you and the great things you are doing. I love you enough to point out gaps where you can improve and help you go there.”
Jesus has provided just this kind of leadership for us. He always gives us a refreshed vision of where He is taking us in life: articulating a compelling vision. Secondly, He helps us chart a path on how we can engage that vision and bring others with us. Thirdly, He always gives us correction in a loving manner along the way so that we continue to percolate toward the overarching vision.
So many wrong definitions of leadership have crept into our vocabularies. We have seen leadership done terribly. We have seen leadership done selfishly. We have also seen leadership done right.
Think of a leader that has done this right for you; someone whom you admire. Recall the leadership they have shown toward you and the impact they have had on you. Pray a blessing over them and if possible, contact them with a note or by phone and express your gratitude for what they have done for you.
More on this… Mark you calendar for the 7M-pact Leadership Retreat June 10-14, 2016. email lindafields@7M-pact.org for more details.