It’s Just Your Personality
Many people would say the workplace is not a place where life is given but instead a place where life is taken. Management steals the joy from work and from workers. Team members live on their heels, constantly insecure because their leaders are managing them poorly.
But life-giving leadership changes the game. It brings color to monochrome organizations. It manifests light in dark places. It restores joy where joy has been lost. It pushes people to be their best. Who doesn’t want to be known as a leader who does that?
Choosing to put others before yourself is life-giving leadership. It involves following Jesus by never divorcing how you lead from your faith
How you treat people is based on the belief that, in every interaction, you are eyeball-to-eyeball with someone who has value. Someone Jesus died for.
Our best should be reserved for the best things: our families, our friends, and our God. When we place these three in proper focus and priority, we see that life makes more sense. It becomes clearer and the people around us take notice.
One of the most attractive elements of life-giving leaders is that they know what they are about and who they are when at their best. Usually, it’s when they are leading others. They give others their best, and that’s life-giving leadership.
Our lives will be filled with regret if we aren’t filled with life. So many of us lead others even though our lives are depleted and dry wells, empty of grace
To be what we were designed to be, the components need to all be in place. Abundant life and fruit give evidence of the goodness of the Source. Without a connection to our heavenly Father through the connection of Jesus, we will dry up. And with that, we will miss our purpose.
How do we live out what we were designed for? What does that look like? Where do we turn? And as leaders, don’t we all have to compromise at times? The key is to grasp one of the most important elements of life-giving leadership, which is you. By that I mean the person God created you to be, with all your uniqueness, your gifts, and your specially designed fruit.
Made Especially for Leadership
Knowing yourself and your staff members well is essential in other areas. When you operate more than half the time out of learned behavior rather than internally determined behavior, you will be exhausted because you are trying to be something you are not. You are working outside of your natural gifting and wiring.
Even when you sit at the top of the org chart, you will be required to make certain things happen whether you like them or not. A leader doesn’t shirk responsibility or automatically hand off every task he or she doesn’t like to do. I’m talking about working in a place where your passion and skills intersect
Don’t lose sight of the necessity of operating out of your uniqueness and your God-given set of passions, talents, and gifts. At times we have to do things we don’t like, but let’s not live lives we don’t like.
As we move into the process of developing your leadership identity and learning to lead from your truest self, you’ll see that it all rests on this truth.
If you don’t create a foundational understanding of who you are, you will probably have a river that grows sluggish and strays outside its intended channel. Such rivers never increase in the ability to give life to more organisms. Most of the rivers that slow down become swamps or get dammed up. Unaware leaders are their own worst enemies.
Imagine working for a leader who has great self-awareness. Imagine that person developing an accurate understanding of how he or she best handles conflict. How body language can create emotional distress or release tension. Imagine your leader being intent on discovering how the past plays into the present.
Imagine you being that leader. Can you see how being this kind of leader will almost instantly add more influence to your flow? Can you see how this is the beginning of a life-giving leader’s legacy?
Your way of thinking turns into behavior, and it dictates the way you respond. Right thinking will get you started on the right foot in any situation. The reverse is true as well. If you start with negative thinking, it will result in negative behavior. You cannot assume you will automatically shift back into correct thinking just before the rubber meets the road.
Humility changes the game for leaders and makes you a light. So many leaders talk about how to have an influence on the workplace that points to Jesus. Humility is so countercultural that people take notice when they see it. Humble leaders are rare, and they give people a perfect connection to the bigger story: the story of God and His work. The pathway to life-giving leadership is paved with humility.
Imagine a workplace filled with humility. Imagine a business in which leaders are trying to outserve one another instead of competing with one another. Imagine a staff that chooses to push others forward because they believe in something bigger than themselves.
At the Top of Your Game
Health is a prerequisite for life-giving leadership. It’s just that simple and concrete. When the leader is well, the team can tell.
If you want to leave a lasting legacy, you have to learn the importance of creating and upholding boundaries. Legendary stories are told about leaders such as Billy Graham who created boundaries early on to avoid being alone with any woman other than his wife. I’m not saying this has to be your rule, but the famous evangelist drew a line in the sand to create a boundary.
For many of us the idea of work/life balance suggests equal playing time. The reality is that if you work more than forty hours per week, if you get the recommended amount of sleep, if you travel for work and run errands and get together with friends and get regular exercise in your free time, there is no way that time spent with your family can equal the time you spend away from your family. Rather than balance, then, we are shooting for a work/life rhythm. We can plan for the rhythm and flow of our seasons.
Rhythm is found in how you approach your days and work in general. Clear expectations with family and communication in advance can help curb the sting of long, tiring work hours.