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“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
While there are many great questions that can be asked of a leader, my very favorite question of all is,
“What is it like to be on the receiving end of you?”
Don’t you just love that?! While many leadership experts have asked this question in various forms, it quickly gives a person an entirely new perspective through which to view oneself.
So let me ask you today, “What is it like to be on the receiving end of you?” Now, before we go any further, I am sure some of you are wondering if this question pertains to you because you do not hold an official leadership title or position. Let me challenge you; however, to consider that leadership is simply about influence, so we all lead in some capacity. It could be at work, home, in our community, or even our social circles.
So, let me ask again, “What is it like to be on the receiving end of you?” Really, go ahead and give this one some thought. If you are not sure, consider this question from other’s perspective. Maybe your boss, employees, coworkers, spouse, children, or friends. After you give it some serious thought, let me follow up by asking,
“Would you want to be on the receiving end of you?”
A few years ago I attended a conference for speakers where one of the presenters encouraged all in the room to simply be a delight to everyone involved in their event. While that is great advice for speakers, it seems to be great advice for all of us. Always seek to make someone’s day better because they interacted with you, not worse.
Are you the kind of person people want to be around? Do they want to work for you, be on your team, and spend time with you? Or do they feel they need to “walk on eggshells” while around you? Are you the kind of person who makes others head for the door when they see you coming?
Regardless of your specific role, strive to be a leader worth following.
If you are not sure exactly how to do this, consider 3 simple ways to get started:
1. Lead with a humble spirit.
Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” While humility may not first come to mind when thinking of characteristics of a leader, who doesn’t like working for a humble leader who is willing to truly listen to and consider the input and thoughts of others? You will be amazed at what can happen in your relationships with your followers when you simply commit to being a humble leader.
2. Value and empower your followers.
Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” As a leader, do you recognize and value the unique giftedness and talents of those who follow you? Are you challenging and supporting your followers appropriately so as to best empower them to put their full God-given gifts and talents to use? If not, what can you do to better allow your followers to reach their full potential?
3. Love those you lead.
I know this one is a bit fuzzy for some, but when you genuinely love those whom you lead, you will look out for their highest possible good. And as a leader, isn’t that exactly what you should do? Mark 12:30-31 says, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no greater commandment greater than these.” Quite simply, when you genuinely love those in your sphere of influence, people will know it, and they will want to follow you.
If you are not so sure being on the receiving end of you is all that you want it to be, lead with a humble spirit, value and empower your followers, and most of all, love those you lead.
Here’s to becoming a leader worth following, because those you lead deserve nothing less!