As I watch fellow leaders - at whatever level they lead - I am struck that there are essentially two kinds of ministry leaders: Those who are consumed by their own success and those who unselfishly give themselves away to help others be successful. I call the latter, unselfish leadership.
Unselfish or generous leaders care about helping others around them be successful. They invest time in others, mentor and befriend other leaders, pray for them, spend time with them and build genuine friendships. Contrast that with leaders how don't have time for others because they are so consumed by their own concerns.
I have watched this with both ministry and workplace leaders. I remember a lunch I had once with the leader of a significant ministry that serves other ministries. In a two hour lunch, there were no questions asked about what I did or the ministry I represented. It was all about him! I left that lunch knowing that this was a selfish and self consumed leader. Fortunately I am surrounded by both marketplace and ministry leaders who represent generous and unselfish leadership.
We live in a day of significant ministry competition - something we don't like to admit. But here is the truth: only selfish, self consumed leaders compete - at least in the ministry world. Generous and unselfish ministry leaders are not competing. Instead they will do all that they can to help others succeed.
I am committed to giving myself away to others in any way that I can. It is the antidote to selfish living and competition. It is the way of Christ. It is also the route to spiritual influence. After all, wise leaders know that the ultimate goal is not building a personal kingdom but having the greatest spiritual influence that it is possible to have. Life is not about us! It is about God.