Many leaders run so hard and are so consumed by success that they run over people in the process. After all, it is results that matter! Not so. It is people that matter first, starting with those who serve as our staff and colleagues. If we disempower our staff and treat them poorly we have failed as healthy leaders. 

Leaders can mistreat staff in many ways: curt words, not having time to listen, lack of empathy, giving ultimatums, threats, intimidation, course language, dismissal of other viewpoints, demeaning language, marginalization, and I could go on. I have seen all of this and more in Christian organizations. I was once in a reconciliation meeting between a leader and one of their staff members who had been subject to much of the above. When I told the leader that this kind of behavior would not be acceptable in the organization I led, he said, "Well I didn't do anything to him that he didn't do to me." So much for leadership.

Good leaders are gracious. They treat people well and care about them. They truly see people as their most important asset. They are kind, gentle, caring and empathetic even as they provide clarity and leadership. They are not pushovers but nor do they practice pushing over. 

I am often surprised when organizations put up with leadership behavior that is substandard because the leader "delivers." In other words, they give the leader a "pass" on behaviors that are truly not acceptable because they deliver results. No leader is exempt from treating those around them well. Results as the expense of people are not acceptable results - in my view. And they don't reflect the character of Jesus. Graciousness is a mark of a good leader. 
  • Aug 26, 2014
  • Category: News
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