Leadership: When You Are Important and Don't Know It
I have spent the last 40 years of my life studying leaders and leadership. My antenna is always up when I am around anyone in a leadership role. I watch them because I want to learn both the positive and the negative characteristics.
I have the privilege of connecting with great leaders from churches, youth ministries, youth organizations and businesses across the nation as well as globally. I have learned so much from so many people and am indebted to a plethora of men and women who have influenced my life.
Every now and then I realize I am in the presence of an exceptional leader as was the case this week. It was not by evaluating the “accepted criteria” for an “important” leader that I came to this conclusion. Yes, he did meet the standard or should I say exceptional checklist:
- Pastor of a large church (multiple thousands)
- Large church staff
- Nationally sought after speaker
- Counselor to other Christian leaders
- Holds and has held several key denominational positions
- Board member for a couple of well-known organizations and colleges
But none of those things were the clincher for me.
No. What did it for me was the way he treated people and I don’t just mean those in leadership. I observed him as he:
- Patiently talked to people even after speaking three hours the same morning.
- Tenderly asked about a prayer request from a year ago.
- Stopped to greet, meaningfully interact and then thank a secretary for her service.
- Thanked a video technician for his time when he was actually the one who had given up his afternoon to help with our WOL project.
- Asked a couple of guys for advice on how to handle a situation instead of trying to impress them with his vast knowledge.
- After speaking, meeting, videoing and talking for over seven hours, thanked us for allowing him to be a part of the ministry.
I study leadership. And yesterday I had the privilege of being in the presence of an important leader who just doesn’t know it. . . . May his tribe increase!