For this blog, I will share a picture of an experience I had recently that illustrates True Leadership that many today completely miss out on or don’t understand. I offer it in the Faith Based Blog because it models the leadership of the Lord that I follow. I will remind the reader of one point and will then share the leadership picture and comment about it. It will highlight a central truth of true leadership.
Those around me realize that about a year ago I was honored because a younger man at my church and I were talking alone, and he said something I really felt honored about. He looked at me and said “Randy, can I share something? I want you to realize that I have learned so much from you and how you engage and connect, not from anything you ever told me”.
Let me share the quick recent picture. Early before the church service, I was one of only about 3 people in the sanctuary and I was just sitting in a pew and thinking. While I was sitting there, I became aware that an older lady, one that I was aware of, but she and I had never really conversed much, came in and slowly moved to a pew a few rows behind me and set her cane down and sat down. I looked around and saw her and I said morning and she responded, and we immediately started chatting a bit. She looked at me and said, “I get so much value from you, and I so appreciate how you interact”. I humbly thanked her, and we broke into chatting and talked together for about 15 minutes.
In sharing her appreciation, she began to express how she had come from a dysfunctional family background. When she shared that, I looked at her and I told her that “You and I are aligned because so did I and while we are not exactly the same, we are aligned….and I want to tell you that you have my highest compliments for who you have become.”
I then stood up and moved back to where she sat and sat down next to her and she shared a bit about her journey and she did not have tears running down her cheeks, but her eyes were wet and while she talked, she used Kleenex’s to wipe her eyes to keep them dry. After about 15 minutes, I held up a hand to commend her and she gave me a High 5 and I then gave her a 1 arm hug. We have become friends.
But later, during that morning, I saw other people do nothing but walk up and hug her and it showed me a key picture. Many people in business, or churches just want to walk up and hug so that they can get a pat on the back for “doing what they are supposed to do”.
Let me point out to you that:
True leaders do not just go with “superficial & square filling” things.
TRUE LEADERS CONNECT WITH THEIR PEOPLE.
Let me leave you with a couple of questions:
1. To what extent are you simply trying to fill only superficial & academic squares?
2. What do you need to do differently to apply True Leadership and connect with your teammates?
3. What is your team’s true experience of you and what would they truly say about you?
Randy Swaim, Coaching for Relevance, LLC