[blockquote source=”Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV)“]In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross![/blockquote]

During one of the strategic planning sessions with a school, the team wanted to unpack the term “leaders”.  The process was to help them gain greater clarity in terms the interpretation of “leaders”, as well as to have a common understanding of what constitute a leader.

As I was facilitating the discussion, I noticed that their idea of a “leader” was a little skewed.  So I asked them to shout a list of attributes that they feel that a leader must have.

Here are some of the attributes:

  • visionary
  • courageous
  • competent
  • effective communicator
  • skilful
  • integrity
  • trustworthy

When I ran out of space on the flip-chart, I stopped and asked them the following question, “if you have a leader with all these attributes, would you trust him or her?  What’s missing from this list?”

Immediately it struck them that what’s missing from this list are the people element of a leader that would make him great!

For many years I have read many leadership books as I have always wanted to be a leader.  However one of my greatest struggle as a leader is not a lack of performance attributes (of course I can always improve on it, but you get the point), but it was the people skills that I need to work on.

While many of the books provide solutions or suggestions on how to become a better leader, very few speaks about the mind-set and beliefs that a leader must have in order to be a great one.  One of my favourite leadership book is “25 Ways to Win With People” by John Maxwell, as it doesn’t only tells you what to do, it also speaks about changing of your mind-set.

As I read today’s reading of the Scripture, the verses struck me as a reminder that I will need to re-visit my people skills.  And a simple, but profound gem I found in the book was the 30-second rule.  Remember the saying that, “the first impression lasts”, therefore by practicing the 30-second rule, you would not only make a good first impression but also a lasting one.

  • Mind-set: Forget about searching for ways to make yourself look good, instead search for ways to make others look great!  And of course, be sincere.
  • Tool-set: Use the Triple-A Treatment – attention, affirmation, and appreciation.
  • Skill-set: Say something encouraging to the person within 30-second.

Dear God, please help us be more Christ-like in terms of humility when serving others.  In Jesus name, Amen.

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