I started reading this book several days ago because I feel like I always need to hone my leadership skills. Above everyone else, I am totally aware of my shortcomings as a leader. Then I read this post and thought, “Why am I reading this book?” I am sure neither Dan nor the author would say, “Don’t read on leadership,” but it sure gave me a different perspective as I am reading this book.
I approached this book with one eye opened warily (for reasons that will remain private). I’m glad to say Dan struck a chord. I’d like to share a thought with you that I gleaned.
Dan puts great weight on the principle that leadership begins with relationship. He writes this:
People don’t exist to help us accomplish the mission; they are the mission. They are souls who must be treated with dignity and respect. Our leadership will rise to a new level when we genuinely see others as people we care about rather than as more work. Leaders, motivated by love, are called to serve others…Loving leaders serve without strings attached.
I don’t know about how you feel, but it doesn’t get much plainer than that. Nor as convicting. I stopped and asked myself, “How many times have I used people to further my agenda? How many times have I been motivated by less than pure motives? “ Truthfully, the questions don’t stop. Nor does the conviction they bring.
There certainly, without question, was no greater leader than Jesus. And just as certain there was NEVER anyone who was more of a servant than Him. Think about His time on earth. Do you ever read of a time where Jesus put strings on His relationship with His closest followers? He served them without expecting anything in return (though in the long run He did want their obedience and devotion), but He didn’t say, “I am doing this so you will do this.”
Frankly, I need to do better with this. But one thing I am now doing is stopping to ask myself about my motives. That is a good thing. The way I see it, I have some other serious questions to ask before I ask anything of others. Can I be counted on? Do I do what I say I will do? Do I genuinely care about the people I am working with? Can they trust me to do the right thing and get the job done? Am I serving them without attachments?
Lots to think about. Least for me it is. What about you? You may not want to answer publicly, and that’s okay, but ask yourself, “Can I be counted on?” “The Son of man did not come to be served but to serve…” Our Leader said that. Are you following?