Leadership comes with responsibility. Think of a mother or good father, or a hero like Dr. Martin Luther King. Although we rarely dwell on it, part of this responsibility is pure and selfless service. That includes active listening, patience, forgiveness and unconditional love – for starters.
It means, too, weighing every word that comes from one’s mouth and every action taken in public, but also in private.
That is, of course, a life of holiness. But it’s also your life when you take stock of the leadership roles you may have in your life.
The leader of today’s organization, parish, charity, fundraising campaign or community group shares in this calling. A leader lives for and serves the group. Yes – even in the normal supervisor/”direct report” relationship. This is how it ought to be at General Motors or General Mills, at your local school board or in your parish or home. In many ways we’ve lost this understanding.
Before accepting any leadership position, even with a small group, remember the life of Jesus: the service toward others, the conviction or authority of his words which are based in Truth and love, the ability to take the higher ground when faced with aggression or traps etc. Believe it or not, this is one of the ways in which I provide media training to corporate clients. They are reminded to be “unblemished”, humble and caring in their conversations and encounters with stakeholders. They are reminded to do the right thing, over and over again – not necessarily the action that is easiest or most personally rewarding.
They are, as well, expected to give time and considerate attention to all audience groups, including angry or agitated members of the media. All of this helps breed good leaders, and remind corporate executives that leadership is about service and altruism.
So therefore, be perfect, for Christ’s sake…. and for the well-being of your organization and the audiences on which your success depends.