Don’t try to change the world. You can’t. Just try influencing your own circle. That is where your power ends, you can’t stretch it further.
Your circle may get larger, it may birth other circles but you are just limited to your circle of influence, not to change them but to influence them. People’s choices remains theirs, but you can influence it, not make it.
As a leader, I can tell you this from experience.
You can’t command certain degree of respect from people who are scared of you. To be scared of you doesn’t mean that you are being respected, it means that you are being perceived as a tyrant.
This doesn’t mean you are actually a tyrant, it means that you give people an impression of yourself that may not be true about yourself. Let’s see what Jesus said
“But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.” Matthew 20:26
Your own presentation of your personality will determine people’s response towards you. Jesus recommends that while most worldly leaders will like to exercise unhealthy authority, a leader ought to walk in the shoes of a servant. Becoming a servant-leader is the same as leading by example.
A good leader do not necessarily see leadership as a mark of superiority but a mark of privilege. You aren’t better than the you are leading, you are simply privileged and you shouldn’t take it for granted. Leadership exposes you to the possibilities of pride but you must not feed it. A leaders pride should be in service and not in position. Apostle Paul writes
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
Just like parenting, to get most out of your followers or subjects, you must not see them as subjects, you must see them as colleagues and you must lead from a position of influence and not domination.
Parents who ruled over their children had children who were scared of them but parents who raised their children by influence had children who doubles as their loyal junior friends.
The moment you notice that people who were once passionate in serving you became apathetic in your affairs, check again. Something is wrong with your leadership. Your followers should be the mirror of your performance, they should reflect who you are and they are the evidence of your leadership skills. Whether you pass or fail is determined by them.
There are many things that cause leaders to fail. Sometimes it isn’t about motive, it isn’t even about doing the right stuffs or getting the job done. For example, a soldier who commands people to work at gun point is not a leader. A leader may get people to work on the same thing and achieve better result with his infuence.
Leadership is more about approach than it is about motive. Your motives may be right but your approach may be the destructive agent. Keep feeding the passion of those in your circle of influence but you can’t do this when you don’t bring yourself to a level and relate from the position of “senior-friendship”.
Whether you fail or succeed as a leader remains your own loss and not always your followers. Some people learnt how to be better because they were treated right and some people learnt how to be better because they were wrongly treated and wouldn’t want any other person to get treated the same way, these ones learnt the hard way but they learnt!
A little word for followers and people under a leader.
No man has ever been made in solitude. No man has ever been made in isolation. While there is time for solitude, everyone must be able to relate, network, connect and serve others.
It may not be palatable while serving others, it may not be a great experience depending on who you served. But one thing is certain. You are taking lessons that no man can take away from you, you are building yourself to greatness and even if no one rewards you, your service is rewarding you with free classes.
I call your blessed.