A second component in our definition of leading like Jesus involves influencing and enabling people. Jesus wisely prepared His Disciples to succeed. You might think it is a stretch to say that Jesus aligned His resources, but let’s consider a few examples.
- Jesus spent an entire night praying over who would be on His team (Lk 6:12) and then selected them (Jn 1:35-51) so He would start with the right resources.
- He provided training for the Disciples so they were equipped for their ministry (Jn 17:6-8; 20:21-22) and promised the best resource of all, the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:13).
- He removed the obstacles of unbelief (Philip, Jn 14:8-9; Thomas, Jn 20:27-28) and their distorted Kingdom thinking (Jn 13:12-17) so they could live and minister wisely.
- He took time so the Disciples would own the direction He was setting (Jn 14:8-12).
- He appeared to value them serving from their own unique position of strength (Jn 21:21-22).
Every leader in every walk of life must learn how to steward human and other resources well. Nothing has greater potential for impact than the synergistic work of aligned resources.
Although commonly heard, “People are the most precious resource,” systems and processes do not always show such a value. How well positioned are you for maximum joy and contribution? How well are you leading others so they can make their best contribution according to who God designed them to be? What steps can you take toward better alignment for yourself and others?
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Ensure you have the “right people on the bus and in the right places” to echo Jim Collins in his outstanding book, Good to Great. If you or those you serve are not in the right place then seek to facilitate a transition to a better place of alignment.
2. Provide the tools, materials, and funding for people to be successful. A primary role of a leader is to enable people to be successful, to thrive. At times there might be a shortage of resources that hinder progress but when resources of information and funding is available it must be shared.
3. Remove known obstacles that hinder joy and progress. Some policies and procedures frustrate and drain energy. Some people who are not fully on board or are misaligned restrict positive movement. Removing restraints can be as helpful as providing resources.
4. Build ownership or buy-in so people serve from intrinsic motivation. When people are confronted with a compelling vision; sense that they are on a committed team; have a valued voice and place in the direction; they will most likely sacrifice to advance the cause. In three years, Jesus had 11 men willing to work for free and die for Him. That is motivation!
5. Leverage strengths for maximum contribution. When people are young, say in their 20’s and 30’s, many do not yet know their strengths, talents, and gifts. Usage over time and affirmation by others will confirm a person’s strength. Every person has a vital role in God’s Great Commission to make His glory known among the nations. Good leaders help people discern their role, develop their capacity, and best align themselves for maximum contribution.
Let us agree to help those we serve find their best place of service and then serve them so they can thrive!
Next Blog: Inspiring & Motivating