Most people want to be respected! I read a few challenging things from Mac Lake the other day that I think are well worth reading.
Every leader I’ve ever met wants to be respected and held in high regard. We feel this way in part because we know if people don’t respect us they won’t follow us. But sometimes we feel this way because of our insecurities.
An egotistical desire to be admired can cause a leader to act in ways that keep people from giving him the very thing he so desperately seeks. In fact the insecure leader leads out of a pride whose sole purpose is Image Management rather than Kingdom Influence.
One of the greatest dangers for us as leaders is to find our identity in our leadership rather than The One who called us to leadership. Those who lead from a spirit of pride ultimately discover that it destroys their leadership reputation.
Solomon wrote in Proverbs 18:12, “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud,but humility comes before honor.” The Hebrew word for honor is kabowd which means “abundance or dignity“. It’s interesting that the root of this word means “to be heavy or weighty.” In other words humility gives weight or credibility to your leadership.
The temptation of every leader is to try to impress, command, have all the answers, divert blame or brag in order to gain the respect of others. But secure leaders who find their sense of identity through their relationship with Christ are free to operate from a spirit of humility. They understand the long term respect needed to gain leadership influence is preceded by humility not image management.