Plundering the Egyptians: Love the People in Your Team

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Most of these “Leadership Proverbs” I’ve just picked up, absorbed and imbibed by some process of osmosis along the way and don’t know exactly whom they originated from. But when I know I’ll make reference, and when I don’t it’s not that I’m ungrateful or that I want to appear like a genius. It’s genuinely that I can’t remember. So if I’ve flogged something from you let me know and I’ll happily acknowledge it.

Love the People in Your Team

To lead a team well you need to genuinely love them. To serve them and want above all that they succeed you will need to love them. It’s hard to desire and work towards success for someone you can’t stand. That flows on naturally from “Servanthood is Greatness”.

But it also goes further than that. Your team needs to actually know that you love them. Every person. If you have been given a team by God to lead, then you have been given a team by God to love. This doesn’t mean that you have to be best friends with everyone on your team, or that you want to go on holidays with them and hold hands, share an ice cream cone and ride a tandem bike. It just means you genuinely care about them and what’s happening in their life and how things are working out for them.

They need to know that you aren’t simply interested in the job that they can do for you and the results that they can achieve, but that you care about their whole life. Now there is a pragmatic edge to this, because how they are in their whole life will affect how they are in the job you have for them to do. Particularly in our ministry context where heart and character are so central. But you need to love them above and beyond the fact that it makes good pragmatic sense. You need to love them because God has given them to you to be loved.

Does your team know that you love and care for them? Have you ever told them? What have you done to show them?


Quote: Newton on Sovereign Interruptions

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I have a lot of patience with those people who fight and struggle with the idea that God is sovereign over every detail in life; that nothing happens without His say-so. It took me a long time to move from first hearing about it and hating it. To then being convinced that it was what the Bible taught and accepting it, but not liking it. To finally embracing and loving it with all my heart.

That progression took a number of years. And it was kinda painful.

And some of you who are a part of A Better Possession are probably all over that spectrum. And the point of all this isn’t to argue and convince you that its true and in the Bible, maybe some other time, for now I just wanna show a little window into what it’s like living life from within the Doctrine of God’s absolute Sovereignty.

Here’s a quote that I feel sums it up.

It’s from John Newton, who was a pastor in the 1700s. He’s the guy who wrote Amazing Grace. Here’s how he looked out on life, and in particular notice how easily he speaks about acts of kindness and notice how he views interruptions – like phone calls from people who need our help when we’re right in the middle of something really important or test results that say your daughter is deathly sick and needs to go to hospital ASAP:

Two heaps of human happiness and misery; now if I can take but the smallest bit from one heap and add to the other, I carry a point. If, as I go home, a child has dropped a halfpenny, and if, by giving it another, I can wipe away its tears, I feel I have done something. I should be glad to do greater things, but I will not neglect this. When I hear a knock on my study door, I hear a message from God; it may be a lesson of instruction, perhaps a lesson of penitence; but, since it is his message, it must be interesting.

That is an attractive way to live.

Plundering the Egyptians: If you’re not a good follower you won’t be a good leader

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Laissez entrer le soleil

(c) spinal123

Most of these “Leadership Proverbs” I’ve just picked up, absorbed and imbibed by some process of osmosis along the way and don’t know exactly whom they originated from. But when I know I’ll make reference, and when I don’t it’s not that I’m ungrateful or that I want to appear like a genius. It’s genuinely that I can’t remember. So if I’ve flogged something from you let me know and I’ll happily acknowledge it.

 

If you’re not a good follower you won’t be a good leader

Flowing straight out of “Servanthood is Greatness” is the idea of followership and the principle that to be a good leader you need to be a good follower. And, like “Servanthood is Greatness” this idea seems counter-intuitive.

Leaders aren’t followers. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? Good followers follow good leaders. Don’t good leaders need to be different from followers? Now there is truth in all this. But we’re talking about those who simply cannot do other than lead. Those who refuse to submit to others. Those who must be in the position of power and authority. Those who cannot follow and cannot follow well.

If you cannot follow then you cannot lead.

And if you’re tracking with us from “Servanthood is Greatness” then you will see why that must be so, because it follows straight on.

If the heart of leadership is servanthood then obviously this will mean that the raw material that makes you a good leader will also make you a good follower. Followers serve, submit, obey, take orders, complete tasks, help the team and contribute to the objective. And if you can’t do those things then you can’t lead well.

Now I’m not suggesting that a leader should have no desire to lead but only to follow. Part of what makes a leader a leader is the desire to take a group of people towards a preferred future. What I’m saying is that if you are a person who simply cannot submit, cannot align yourself to another, cannot follow well, then you won’t have the necessary skills and characteristics to lead well.

When a leader works under another leader they must learn and display a number of key qualities: patience, ability to influence, negotiation, compromise, faithfulness, diligence, perseverance, among many others. Working under a leader you don’t respect, admire, trust or like is a mark of maturity. Those who can’t or are unwilling to shouldn’t lead.

A final reason why to be a leader you must be a good follower is because the people you lead will, to a certain extent, take their cues from you. Obviously the extent of this phenomenon will vary from person to person. But you will model for those who follow you how they are to treat you by how you treat the person over you. You will model how they are to act when they disagree with you by how you react when you disagree with those who lead you. You will model how to speak about a leader you respect and one you don’t respect by how you talk about your leaders. And so on. And you want your team to act a certain way towards you and you want them to speak about you to each other in a certain way, particularly when they find you hard to work with. And you will need to model this for them. Treat your leaders the way you would wish to be treated.

Good leadership requires good followership.