Who’s Most Important
The best leaders count others more important than themselves, standing behind them and helping them reach their potential.
A mentor of mine defines politics as the contest to control limited resources. The dictionary defines politics as the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power. This post is not about politics. It is about leadership!
One of the most relative events recorded in the scriptures is in Matthew 23:11 -12 MSG:
Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.
This event took place sometime after the disciples had been living with and learning from Jesus. They weren’t getting it! They were playing politics. Early in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus had used the analogy of a child.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked:
Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him and placed the child among them.And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
This is radical teaching! The apostle Paul picked up on this in his letter to the Philippians 2:3-4 NIV:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Are you kidding me?
Stand Behind Others & Help Them Reach Their Potential
People all around us are struggling for power, control, popularity, and fame. Who got the most likes on Facebook? Who got the most votes? Who made the most money, has the best sounding title, has the most friends, and owns the most impressive house? It goes on and on.
Are you tired of playing this game? Many of us discover the sad truth that when we get the authority we attained or the riches we earned, it did not satisfy us in the way we were expecting.
Leaders must learn that the last shall be first. Do not spend your time thinking about where you are heading. Spend your time engaging with others and building relationships. Leaders stand behind others. They help them to reach their potential.
Start with those closest to you. So many fathers and mothers today miss out on the most crucial task right in front of them. Raising their children to be mature, fulfilled human beings. Spend time — a lot of time — nurturing, and teaching them.
Put their needs ahead of your own. And grammas and grandpas, build that relationship with your grandchildren to give them perspective and wisdom. You won’t be sorry.
How many leaders take the time to mentor those who report to them? Many leaders are so busy and obsessed with their responsibilities, they don’t see those around them. The mark of real leadership is the ability to build a team of people around us who know more than we do.
Always Lead by Example
No task is too insignificant. Lead by example. Wash the dishes. Move the chairs at the meeting. Clean the toilet. Leaders cast shadows. Take time to learn people’s names and look them in the eyes. Slow down and smell the roses.
Jesus, the most outstanding leader who ever walked this earth, focused on the twelve disciples. He promised them they would do greater things than He had done. And they did!
Servant Leaders understand their purpose, the mission they have in their family, community, and work-life. It is not about them. It is about the mission. Do you know your mission? You get to the goal by counting others as more important than yourself.
Caveat: Always Fill Your Well Too
This is a warning or proviso: Don’t make the mistake that counting others as the most important means you should not take time for yourself and work on your health and growth. You cannot get water from a dry well.
Peace be with you.