“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli
The idea of leadership is blown out of proportion. We believe that we have to be this great person that everyone stands in awe of. We think we need to be outgoing, smart, charming, fun, inspiring….. The list goes on. But who can actually live up to this “ideal person”? The honest answer is we can’t. Nobody can be everything to everyone. Instead we need to use what we have to inspire and lead people.
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function….We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching let him teach; if it encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. ~ Romans 12:4-8
Moreover, leadership doesn’t have to mean we have to stand in front of a group of people and direct them. Leadership doesn’t have to mean organizing a big event. However, it can mean doing something small for someone else. It can mean encouraging someone. It can be helping someone carry their groceries or helping them with their work. It’s the little things that can make a big difference. It is stopping for a minute to show someone that we care that can change a life or have a lasting impact on that person.
For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. ~ Romans 2:13
I encourage you to lead, not in the typical way that leadership is defined (although there is nothing wrong with that), but in the small ways. How? Be yourself. It is key. If you lead with your heart and do all things through Jesus, you will be amazed at where God will take you. By following Jesus, we can lead and, hopefully with God by our side, be an example for others.
Second, with leadership redefined, I want to point out that all too often we don’t realize we are making a difference. We may end up feeling discouraged or unappreciated if we feel like our efforts didn’t make a difference or went unnoticed. As the TED Talk posted below points out, we have these lollipop moments. In these moments, we impact people a lot more than we realize but if no one tells us how are we to ever know? Often we don’t ever find out.
I don’t mean that you should go around asking for feedback from people to see if you had an impact on them. Don’t get me wrong asking for feedback can be good but instead I have a different suggestion. Rather than going around asking for people to compliment you, give other people feedback instead. If they have touched your life in a way that has changed you personally, TELL THEM! If you like the way they did their hair or their outfit, TELL THEM! If you thought what they did was nice or if you find their inner strength or strong faith admirable, you should TELL THEM! By complimenting people and giving positive feedback, we can make someone’s day, make them feel important and appreciated. In a way, the helper gets helped.
This suggestion means that we don’t directly hear for ourselves if we have made a change in someone’s life or done something for someone that was greatly appreciated but wasn’t voiced. This doesn’t mean we lose out though. First, we are blessed when we bless others and make them feel important. Second, if we treat others the way we want to be treated, it just might come back around. Those we compliment just might compliment us back one day!
Here is my challenge for you: Try and find a way to compliment every person you come across. It could be talking to someone in line at the grocery store or telling a friend that they mean the world to you. I would love to hear how this challenge goes for you. Finally, let’s redefine what leadership means!