Jesus on Leading: It's the People!
Beginning with an earlier post about Authentic Leadership, or Taking our Cues on Leading from Jesus, I am doing a series of posts about some of the heart qualities of leadership that Jesus exhibited and exhorted us to. Today’s post is about priorities and people.
Leaders have many responsibilities and many priorities. Keeping them all on target and in order is a constant challenge.
A few of those priorities:
Focusing on the mission. Remembering the reason you are in business or ministry (or whatever you are leading). It’s your responsibility to keep the team on track. And those team members will make it happen.
Keeping the bottom line in sight. You must equip and motivate your team members to take wise risks—to be frugal and bold at the same time. To pursue creative solutions and alternatives that take you forward without putting you in the red.
Watching the market, the competition, the trends. You must be aware and alert of what is happening in the world and in your world. Your staff will be your eyes and ears and provide you with information and insight.
Connecting with your customers or target audience. Understanding the people you are trying to reach: What are their needs, hopes, desires, fears, motivations. Then bringing your product to them in ways that connect and engage and captivate. Your researchers, sales people, customer service agents are all key players.
Stewarding resources. So many resources to gather, manage, employ. Securing, investing, earning funds. Research and development. Training and deployment. Product management, strategic planning, marketing, Whatever resources you use in your work, you need to secure them and protect them and expand them and utilize them well. You are grateful when your staff do all this well.
Clearly, the key element in each of these priorities is the people on your team. They dream the dream with you. They take care of the finances. They discern the times and connect them to your mission. They relate to your customer, your audience and personalize your message. They help you steward all your resources
They are a resource. Your people are your #1 resource.
Yet how often do we observe the following:
Office politics pushing capable people out.
Blind commitment to policy that prevents looking for creative alternatives.
Expecting people to work so much that family relationships are jeopardized.
Keeping a person in a job that doesn’t fit him when he has great gifts to offer in another arena.
Discrimination plays into promotion and opportunity consideration.
Requiring dishonesty to make a bigger profit.
All of the above priorities become more important than the people who make them happen.
Once again, I quote Jesus: Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45)
Though Scripture doesn’t quote Jesus as saying, “It’s the people,” the way Jesus lived and interacted and taught spoke loudly.
Even as He preached repentance and salvation and the Kingdom of God, He loved people, He took time for them, He fed them, He healed them, He forgave them, He broke the rules to meet a need, He hung out with the poor, the sinner, the “unclean.”
Jesus went about His mission speaking truth in love, extending value, mercy and hope to people, letting grace guide his actions and his words.
For Jesus it was all about the people.
What about you? When do priorities displace people?
C2014 Judy Douglass