Next month, I’ll reach the seven years of employment mark with The Leadership Institute. If there’s a tenet of our ministry that I’ve appreciated the most over the years, it’s the idea that all of us, whether we like it or not, are leaders. That’s because all of us, whether we like it or not, have some area of influence over others. Our lives, whether we like it or not, always overflow to other peoples’ lives.
This idea is so important because we often forget that we do indeed influence others, even when we’re not meaning to. We are each in a place of leading. It’s just a matter of whether we want to deliberately set out to do it right or not.
I appreciated hearing from bestselling author, coach, and speaker John C. Maxwell at this summer’s Global Leadership Summit on this very topic, on what he called The One Thing to Get Right.
What’s the one thing?
It’s remembering our position as leaders.
It’s in remembering our position that we simultaneously understand our role. In Maxwell’s words, “leaders lift. But when the leadership is bad, everything falls.”
And we’ve all seen it. We’ve seen what happens when leaders forget to lift. We’ve even done it. The rest of the team feels down. Discouraged. Left out. Not a good thing!
So, how do we position ourselves into a position of lifting within our God-given spheres so that we can move to where God is calling our teams?
Maxwell encourages us to:
- Intentionally add value to people each day and every day
- Walk in their shoes
- Find out what is important from their perspective
- Be consistent and willfully caring of those in your charge
These are exactly the leadership values we attempt to model in our leadership training process at The Leadership Institute. We believe that as leaders learn to abide in the love of Jesus they will personally encounter a Divine Leader who is with us each and every day, who doesn’t lead us from afar but came to earth to “walk in our shoes,” who cares deeply about our dreams and desires, and who never stops loving us. We believe as we learn to spend time soaking in this kind of leadership in our daily rhythms that naturally we will overflow this way of leading to those we are leading.
Being intentional in our leadership is difficult, but in adding value to others by overflowing the love of God to others, we can take the first step in helping our places of influence thrive. And as we work toward bringing value to others, we create a more cohesive team in the process.