Checklist for being a selfless leader
I have been spending a lot of my devotion time trying to understand how Christ was able to lead so selflessly. How was He able make the kind of changes that lasted for eternity (besides being the SON OF GOD)? I want to be better at leading people, I want to be better at leading selflessly. So, here are a few questions that maybe you can ask yourself.
1 – Are you investing time coaching those under you, or are you focused more on getting your job done?
Now, I do know that we have to get our jobs done and be good stewards with what we have been given. But, as a leader there is something very special (and our responsibility) to spend time coaching and pouring into those that we lead. I love reading throughout the Gospels where Christ would teach his parables and then he would COACH his disciples. Now, Jesus mission was to live a perfect life, go through everything that we could ever have to, die and rise again. However, had he not made it priority to pass on this amazing transformation and grace of the Father to his disciples, the impact of his life could have ended with one generation. In order for us be a selfless leader, we have to invest in those that God has placed under us. To be insatiably curious about their success!
2 – Do you see decisions by how they affect your team, or by how they affect you?
This one is hard – because we know that everything that we decide will cost something. And what kind of person looks forward to it costing themselves something but that is the love of Christ. His decisions cost him the luxuries of sin, and the luxuries of comfort, even the luxuries of a long life – so that we could have the promises and relationship wth God.
3 – Do you lead discussions holding back your opinion, or leading with your opinion?
This kills creativity and closes the vulnerable trust required for the best decisions. I know that I have a tendency to lead discussions with my thoughts, cause I have thought about them for a LONG time! But, why are we leading decisions anyways? Why are we wanting to get the best solution? Is it to make God’s name famous, or is it to see our own success? Our place in leadership should be to get the best God has for people, and the response will be the best God has for the organization.
4 – Are you asking “how are you doing”, or are you assuming they are “ok”?
Sometimes we can get so busy in what we are doing that we miss the responsibility of those we lead. I used to be poor at this – broken at this. I have watched as leaders all around me break down, lose hope, leave the ministry, loose their families – all preventable had their leader actually shepherded them. The sad part, is that I can look back in my life and I believe I lost some great people because God couldn’t trust me with their lives. I was enjoying the benefits of their accomplishments and their success, but wasn’t shepherding their soul, their heart. Don’t miss this in those that you lead – ask them, how are you doing?
5 – Is your best leadership at home?
Ok, this one may not make sense – but seriously, a selfish leader will sacrifice their family for their future. A selfless leader will do whatever it takes to lead their family, even if that means changing careers, changing roles, stepping aside from ministry. I have a very good friend that had to make what felt like the hardest decision in his life (ending up being his best decision). After serving for over 25 years at the same church, in line for leading the church – stepped down and restarted his career at the age of 49 years old. All because his marriage was falling apart because of ministry. His relationship with his wife was suffering and their communication was falling apart. And this friend of mine took a huge step, and because of that his marriage is better than it has ever been and he will leave a legacy much greater than the path he was on.
I guess what I am saying is that we can’t keep leading and trying to be successful at the cost of those around us. We have to wake up to the truth that we are called to build people not churches, we are called to leave legacy not live legacy, we are called to sacrifice ourselves not others…
Go lead for real
Go lead like Jesus