Do You Take Leadership Seriously? Three Critical Ways to Care for Your People
I recently learned of a small organization in my town that has a high turn over rate. People are not happy there. Guess why? Poor leadership. The leaders are oblivious to the problem. In fact, they don’t even seem to care. They don’t ask for help. They are not seeking growth. Meanwhile, people are hurting! Honestly, this sickens me. Why do so many leaders simply not take leadership seriously?
Do you take your leadership seriously?
It caused me to ask myself, Wes, how are you different? Are you taking your leadership seriously?
We must examine our leadership because of what is at stake: people’s lives. Other people’s lives are affected by what we do. Their home life, their finances, and their emotions are impacted by how we lead. Their futures are on the line.
When I look at leadership that way, it jolts me. I feel a solemn shudder beckoning me to my calling in leadership. A leader must tenderly nurture his people. Too many of us take leadership lightly. We become happy simply being the boss. We only occupy lofty positions and are content managing important projects.
I am often reminded of the awesome responsibilities pilots of major airlines have. The lives of hundreds of people are literally in their hands. If they are careless, they can kill themselves and others. It is really no different with leadership.
So you may say, “Okay Wes, what must I do to take leadership seriously?” The answer is simple: Grow. I selected three areas below in which we simply cannot fail as leaders. In fact, we must always improve at these if we take our leadership roles seriously.
Work on Your Character
Toward the end of last year, I was feeling a bit discouraged. I had way too many things on my plate, and things were not moving as I would have liked for them to. As a result, I began noticing that I was becoming shorter with people, not as patient, not as forgiving, not as gracious. I don’t know if anyone else noticed it. No one said anything to me about it, but I could sense it. After a couple of weeks, I thought to myself, I am better than this. What is happening to me? Is my character changing? Am I regressing?
I was reminded that our character—how we think, act, and feel about ourselves and others—is always under assault. Our calling as leaders requires we guard our character and aim to elevate who we are. We must renew our commitment to ourselves and to others every day in order to achieve our highest level of being.
Practice Personal Growth
What am I doing to grow? That’s a question I often ask myself because when I don’t, I naturally slip into stagnation. I feed on what I currently know. And that’s when I start slipping.
Today I met with an executive coach who has become a friend. He is a local minister at a large church in town, and he has helped me in the last year. At lunch I shared with him that this year I would like him to help me improve my coaching skills. It is a personal goal I have set for myself. In order to achieve it I must act upon it. We must always be looking for areas in which we can grow ourselves and our leadership because our leadership directly impacts the people under our care.
My personal definition of healthy leadership is taking people great places while honoring the human spirit. We must honor people. You are in a position to uplift others, to help them either on a personal or professional level. Find out what people value, where their interests and passions lie, and invest in their growth. Treat people with dignity, even when they don’t deserve it. Shelter those who are in difficult places in life. Celebrate those who are experiencing victories and achievements. In many cases, you will be the only person to do these things for them.
Do you take your leadership seriously? If you intentionally work on yourself to become a better leader, then I believe you do. Excellent work. Keep going higher!
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