27 of 52 Voices July 17th, 2014
The C3 Leaders devotion is a peer weekly reflection from business leaders related to their journey with Christ. Each weekly devotion will be written by a different author from among the C3 Leaders community, 52 unique authors to be exact.
As we go through this next year together, we pray that these words and reflections will encourage you in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
By Candace Grisdale
As a leader, learning to put the needs of others before your own is of great importance and certainly a journey. But why do we serve others in this way? To look good? Or to walk out God’s calling and represent Christ? Does it vary in times of prosperity versus times of challenge? In prosperity, do we lose perspective? In difficult times, do we stand firm living our values? How’s our generosity in serving needs no matter the circumstance?
Sharing a story from my own career…there was a challenging time with our organization’s leader who had a very difficult working style focused on discouraging employees. Every step of the way, we’d hear that the team couldn’t possibly achieve the goals set before us and discredit our claims to the contrary, often publicly. On the one hand, it was my responsibility to protect my team and serve to buffer them against the negative effects of that leadership approach. On the other hand, I had to engage directly, with respect and care, standing firm and being slow to anger. It was a fine line to walk and often tenuous.
As we know, things work together for good (Romans 8:28). This circumstance led to the birth of a very special work family. When a leader shows the team that they care, often sacrificially, the potential for the team to coalesce, bond, hope again and reach great heights exponentially rises. We met and exceeded the sales goal in the midst of that very visible opposition, with many co-workers observing the entire experience. In fact, the HR manager asked ‘As a leader, how did you get people to do what you all just did this past year?’ I asked with a smile, ‘Are you sure you want to know?’ and he confirmed. My response was that ‘God is in the midst of all this, and if as a leader one lives according to his principles, we can get absolutely anything done and be unified. It wasn’t an easy experience but they knew this leader cared deeply for them.’
In the midst of difficult times, we often find great opportunity. The people we lead respect our leadership when they know that we care about them, when we put others before ourselves. Do our teams know the values behind the behaviors, and can they rely on those principles of care and love no matter the circumstances?
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.