As I’ve intimated in this post, we are sometimes underrated success enablers for others). It is important for us to think and act beyond ourselves. We need to intentionally empower others to advance. This post is about looking up to no ceiling.
I think I am one of the most fortunate people on the face of the earth! I’ve had the privilege of having countless people as examples on how to do life and lead, among other things. For my entire life I’ve been surrounded by people with a desire to not only see me succeed but exceed them. I’ve had and still have people who want to see me farther at this stage in my life than they were. I am extremely grateful. As I’ve grown, I’ve realized that there are other people who are also looking up to me. And, there are people around me that I am committed to seeing farther and better than me at the stages they’re yet to get to.
illustration by "i'll never grow up", flickr, (cc)
We have many labels for those we look up to for direction; coach, mentor, guide, advisor etc. Whatever name you have for these people, you need them. Not only that you need to be that person to someone else. True success is not self-seeking. True success is service to others. True success is helping other realize their dreams and potential greater than they ever imagined. Success is enabling others from your vantage point. Success cannot be success if it self-serving.
People refrain from being an enabling force in other people’s lives because they only look at their inadequacies. On the contrary, no matter how lacking we are or feel, we are never in a place where we cannot give to others. No matter how bankrupt you feel you can make someone richer. Wealth is not just material things. You have wisdom someone else is praying for. You have resources that you despise and have no use for that could be exceeding life changing for someone else.
While you feel you haven’t arrived, someone is desperate to get to where you are! Don’t undermine that! Sometimes people speak more highly of us than we really are and tell us how they want to be just like us. For a change, stop trying to fight it and correct them. Use that to inspire them to be greater than you. Tell them they can be better! Never get so caught up in growing and advancing yourself that you forget there are people that not only need but desperately want your heads up in getting where you are! Take a break from trying to get ahead and help someone get ahead too!
If you think about it long and hard enough you’ll realize that you often underrate yourself as a success enabler for others. Inspire and empower someone else today!
I thought I’d share some of the excerpts from different places that have moved me and moved me hard… I hope this one also rattles, challenges and changes you the way it did with me…
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing. I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory. I pray Thee that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “rise up, my love, my fair one and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wondered so long. In Jesus’ name. Amen – A. W. Tozer
I got this excerpt from A.W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God. Tozer opened each chapter with a prayer and the excerpt is a prayer opening the chapter, “Following Hard After God” You can download the book free here
Organizations, and people in general, determine how good a service or product is based on other products or services of similar nature. Your claim to superiority may just be an admission that you recognize your competitor (in whatever form) as a threat. It is normal to check reviews for products or delivery in other areas in order to establish which is best. A problem comes in when we adopt this attitude when it comes to our spiritual life.
It is easy to subconsciously adopt the, “I may not be as good as God calls me to be, but at least I’m not as bad as… [fill in the blank]”. This is dangerous! God is never going to commend you for being better than someone else, but for being who He calls you to be. You will not be held accountable for what someone else didn’t do, but what you didn’t do! When it comes to God, how well you’ve done on your assignment will never be based on how someone else did on theirs! God’s expectations for you are exclusive! They cannot be transferred, superimposed or adopted to or from others.
Have you been assessing your walk or progress with assignments based on what others are doing? Your only standard is God and the assignment He’s given you! You’re not good based on what others are not doing but what you are doing in fulfilling what He’s called you to! Forget what everyone else is doing or not doing! The only standard you have is God! Instead, ask yourself:
“Am I fulfilling all that God has called me to?”
I was going through my computer and came across a video clip I used in training some leaders. This clip was from the movie “A Bugs Life”. Long story short, a locust tells the ant, “the first rule of leadership – everything is your fault!”. This reminded me of something Francis Chan said on a Backstage Leadership session I was on.
you lead by showing
One of the questions Francis was asked was, ‘what are some of the things a leader must NEVER delegate?’ His response:
A leader must never delegate taking responsibility or blame for things going wrong.
There is sometimes a temptation for the leader to ‘look good’. To always be right. To always have the answer or never make mistakes… To always know what to do… and the list goes on.
Some leaders think it is weakness to be wrong let alone to admit your hand in your organization’s failure. On the contrary, it takes courage for the leader to own his organization or team’s failure without shifting the blame. Leader, when things go wrong where is the first place you seek fault?
A lot of leaders miss out on opportunities to build their influence by not taking responsibility when things go wrong. How can you expect those you lead to take responsibility for their part in things going wrong if you don’t show them how?
The leadership that your team see from you is the leadership they’ll not only embrace, but practice and perpetuate! Take responsibility for things going wrong and when it is their turn they are more likely to do likewise. The reason your team may not be taking responsibility for things in their care going wrong could be that you’ve taught them not to.
There are times when I’ve led very badly by blaming my team, circumstance and other environmental factors for my failure to lead. Lately, I am being challenged to self-evaluation as a leader. Leadership that does not embrace humility can never have the courage to take responsibility for things going wrong.
- How have I contributed to the failure of someone or the team I lead?
- Does the reason for failure reveal a gap in training or systems?
- What can I learn from this as a leader?
- What lessons are there for us as a team / organization?