Leading by example is sometimes easier said than done. Do as I say not as I do is far easier to proclaim than watch my every move and see how I do it. As I read about the millennial workforce, they don’t want that either. I don’t think any of us ever did but for those of us who learned from an autocratic leader, this was commonplace. Today, we see people get promoted into a leadership position and then have to change everything they are in order to get the job done. All too often we’ve seen the guy who comes in late to meetings or is not always prepared get promoted and then suddenly they expect people to “tow the line” when they are in charge.
How are you in your day-to-day actions? We all falter but are you more disruptive than you are helpful at work? Leaders have the responsibility to watch everything they do because they never really know the impact of their actions for some time. This is where being significant is more important than being successful. Significance is what you are to others, successful is what you are to yourself.
“He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.” Mark 4:26-27.
Spread the word! I’ve often heard that said but these verses from Mark really add new meaning. We scatter seed every day in our lives as Christians. We come into contact with people and can affect them simply through verbal and non-verbal communication. Our attitude tells a lot about what lies deep within us but it is our actions that tell the rest of the story.
We can scatter seeds that flourish or we can scatter seeds that result in weeds but make no mistake, we are always scattering seeds. No matter what we do or say, the seeds that we scatter will grow. Jesus told us to spread the word. God has given us the instructions, through His word in the bible, to “go and make disciples of all men”. The message is clear, scatter the seeds and they will sprout and grow. We won’t know how but we can be assured that they will. Following Easter and the good news of salvation, we should have no trouble scattering the seeds of eternal life.
A good reputation or a good name is hard to come by but can be lost very easily. Your success at work and I’d argue, in life, is critical to your reputation. Spend a moment and think of a leader or person in your life that you’d like to emulate or is someone that you really enjoy speaking with. Maybe it’s someone that has helped you in your career or trained you in something new. Now ask yourself, have I done any of these things for others? It’s difficult for us to know what our own reputation is; at least what people really think of us. Taking time to reflect on your own reputation and to answer these questions may help you measure how good your name really is.
Society has placed a lot of emphasis on being successful (riches) and we are often judged by the things we have. The good news today is that we can see that all changing. People are becoming more concerned with making a difference or experiencing what life has to offer than they are with amassing wealth. The “tiny house” movement is a great example. I have a friend who is asking leaders the question, are you being significant or successful? He suggests that being significant to someone or others is far more important than any material success you may achieve. I couldn’t agree more.
Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
We all have the opportunity to demonstrate our faith everyday by being an example for living a Christian life. To create a good name, you can show others your compassion, caring, understanding and patience. Being aggressive in business has been rewarded with bonuses and perks but they all might be at the cost of your good name.
We learn from the message in Proverbs that it is better to be esteemed rather than rich. In today’s world, we are faced with a mountain of challenges but in the end, we should be striving to make a difference. God will provide great riches beyond this life and He will give you the most important good name – Saved One. Leadership is not about getting something; it is about giving yourself to others, to share what you know so that others can become significant. We are all leaders to someone in our lives – whether we know it or not. Jesus led the disciples and showed the way of Christian living. St. Paul lead the churches of the region through his letters and support. If God can use St. Paul, while in jail, to provide leadership that has lasted for more than 2000 years, how hard can it be for us to be significant to someone for just one day?