Too often I find myself going through life as if I am in a race. I feel as soon as I get the next project done, I can take a deep breath and relax. Unfortunately while I am racing, I pass by numerous opportunities to add value to people, because I am so focused on finishing.
I think this is an attribute of a self-serving leader as opposed to a servant leader. Servant leaders view life as a journey, something that is never completed, but to be enjoyed and cherished along the way. They take time to be present with people, supporting them, and providing for their needs.
I am blessed with numerous friends who truly view their life and their leadership as a journey. They keep me grounded, and challenge me to slow down, and be there for people when needed, as opposed to simply running a race to win.
I have a friend and mentor who is a senior leader (business owner & entrepreneur) who probably has more on their plate than anyone I know, but always makes time for a phone call, lunch, or a meeting with anyone who asks for his time. No matter how busy, he knows that helping someone along the way is far more important to him than his personal agenda. He has more passion and desire for his community and others, than for himself.
Another friend who is also a senior leader (business owner) was conducting a 3-Day Annual Company Meeting last week. During the meeting, he was informed of the tragic death of an employee’s 2 year old, in another state. He quietly left the meeting and personally called this employee to find out how he and the company could help this individual in this time of extreme grief. It didn’t end with the phone call. He is staying in constant contact helping this family through the funeral and grieving process.
A third friend, also a senior leader (business owner) was asked why he was out of the office for three days last week. He proceeded to inform his customer that he was at a Family Portrait Retreat, which opened up an opportunity to witness to him and let him know of the personal impact that this week had on his family’s life. This individual is constantly looking for how he can help others.
People are attracted to these three leaders. They have a significant amount of influence, not due to their position, but because they view their life as a journey to impact other’s lives. They are present, approachable and available when needed. They put people at ease and intensively listen. They show compassion and empathy, always letting people know they are available when needed. They are not in a race!
Jesus certainly was a great model in this area. He always had time for people in their time of need, even though he had an extremely extensive agenda.
Who do you know that exemplifies this principle of living life as a journey to be a positive impact to others, as opposed to a race to finish?
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. Psalm 89:14-15