THE ART OF LEADERSHIP By Dag Heward-Mills
Many leaders have no difficulty in relating to their people as equals. The problem that unfortunately erupts, usually, is the problem of familiarity. Familiarity seems to be a human weakness that can destroy an otherwise great relationship. Familiarity is to know someone or something so well and in such a way as to cause you to lose your admiration, respect and sense of awe. Familiarity, therefore, leads to presumption and arrogance. In order to establish order in an organisation, it becomes necessary and important for the differences to be made clear.
A person who suffers from familiarity becomes confident in a way that shows a lack of respect. Michal, the wife of King David, was a typical example of this. Michal was so confident that she criticized the king for his style of praise and worship. She knew the king so well as to lose her sense of awe. She did not see him as special. She did not even think to try to correct the king in private. If she needed to suggest another way for the king to praise God, she did not have to do it publicly and in the way she did.
She criticized the king for his display of exuberance in front of girls she considered insignificant. Michal showed her lack of respect by the kind of remark or rebuke she made to her husband. This was David, the king of Israel! But familiarity made Michal behave inappropriately. Michal had become disconnected, critical and disloyal to her king. Michal had developed this attitude because she knew the king from head to toe.
Six Ways A Leader Makes the Differences Clear
- A leader teaches his followers. Jesus was an amazing leader who taught his disciples all the time. He taught them how to pray. He taught them how some particular demons could be cast out. He taught them many things! When you teach someone you establish the authority to lead him. The authority to lead is found in the ability to feed.
- A leader sends his followers. Jesus sent his disciples to buy food.
(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat).
Every time you send someone you establish the chain of command. You emphasize the chain of command that exists within the structure.
- A leader blesses his followers. Pray for your followers and bless them. There is a faithful saying that the lesser is blessed of the greater.
And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
- A leader says who he is.
Jesus spoke of himself confidently. He said that he was the way, the truth and the life. He said that he was the door. He said he was the good shepherd. He said he knew heavenly things that those on earth could not believe. There are times when it it important for a leader to declare who he is.
- A leader is not afraid of being different. Jesus had walked with his disciples as though they were the same. But there were times he showed up differently. When they were entering Jerusalem, Jesus rode on a donkey whilst all his disciples walked. Garments were strewn on the floor for him to walk on.
And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
Accept privileges that are exclusively yours. When you refuse to accept your privileges, you create anomalies and disorder. The Bible calls this an evil and an error (mistake) that emanates from the ruler.
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.
- 6. A leader ought to allow himself to be honoured. Jesus allowed himself to be honoured by Mary. He permitted the expensive gift that was poured on his feet.
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
When people work closely with a great leader, they tend to lose their sense of awe. Some also lose their admiration and respect. The loss of admiration and respect shows up in many subtle ways. This can fight a leader’s ability to relate with his people as equals. May you be a leader who manages this well!