Jesus-like leaders never allow the mission to overpower their love and concern for the people they serve and lead.
Another core element in leading toward life change is that the leader is motivated by love. In the Leadership Encounter material, we learn that receiving and giving unconditional love is the antidote to pride and fear.
We are all driven by something–the question is what is driving my actions today? Am I acting out of a God-given love for Him and others or out of self-serving motivations?
It is possible to lead people and love leading them more than I love them. Sometimes we cloak this in language about being a workaholic or mission-driven. We allow our focus on mission to give us permission to disregard the people we lead. Jesus was all about mission but he was also about the relationships that drive the mission. The mission never caused Jesus to neglect or walk over the people He was serving.
A few years ago, I had the privilege, along with several colleagues, of visiting the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and learning how they develop leaders for their mission. I was impressed that this organization (whose core competency includes dropping bombs) stated how important people were to the successful completion of their assignment. They shared a motto that they have used to guide their focus on mission and people–“Mission first–people always!”
Leaders live in that tension between mission and people. Like Jesus, we have to hold both in focus. Jesus-like leaders never allow the mission to overpower their love and concern for the people they serve and lead.
Key question–How am I demonstrating my love for the people God has allowed me to lead?
Written by Rick Wheeler