The Game of Thrones…and Towels
By Ed Delph
April 1, 2019
Here’s a thought for us to consider concerning leadership. “Lovers of people are not always the greatest leaders of people and leaders of people are not always the greatest lovers of people.” In other words, love and leadership are not diametrically opposed, love and leadership can work together. Leadership is about managing relationships and tasks correctly and effectively. Jesus is a great example to learn from on this dilemma.
Author John Maxwell notes there are three questions every follower asks of a leader. If you have a position of leadership in any capacity, you should be aware of these questions. It will help you in both loving and leading people.
The three questions are:
Do you like me?
Can you help me?In other words, will you add value to my life? Why would I follow you as a leader if you were going to use me and perhaps abuse me solely for your own needs?”
Can I trust you?
Think about it. “Do you like me?” has to do with the leader’s compassion. “Can you help me?” has to do with the leader’s competence. “Can I trust you?” has to do with the leader’s character. These three questions are the same in any culture, any country, or any time. Leaders take note. There’s a thin line between motivating followers to go from A to B and manipulating followers to go from A to B. Manipulating people is always wrong. Always!
Here’s a great example of leaders who manipulate and bully people, and the solution for the problem from the Bible.
“It was about that time that the mother of the Zebedee brothers came with her two sons and knelt before Jesus with a request. ‘What do you want?’ Jesus asked. She said, ‘Give your word that these two sons of mine will be awarded the highest places of honor in your kingdom, one at your right hand, one at your left hand.’
When the ten others heard about this, they lost their tempers, thoroughly disgusted with the two brothers. So, Jesus got them together to settle things down. He said, ‘You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.” Parts from Matthew 20:20-28.
Jesus is thinking, “This is a problem. I’ve got clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with James, John, and their mother. I’m going to have to bring my problem children to the altar for a lesson on leadership.”
James and John wanted a ‘selfie’ with Jesus to show their friends on Facebook how significant they are, making them envious because of who they were hanging out with. The disciples were dissing, disgusted, and divided. I think they became envious, saying in essence, “Me too…Me too!”
Let me paraphrase what Jesus is saying. “You think God runs His kingdom like the world’s leaders. But not so in God’s kingdom. Don’t let power go to your head or strive to be the center of attention. Don’t be a bully leader pushing and shoving your way in. Don’t use people as a means to your own ego-driven end. Everyone does that. Do you want to be great? Great! Serve God by serving people. In the earth part of your life, the servant’s towel precedes the king’s throne. Godless leaders and bully manipulators have one thing on their mind, reign now, serve later. God wants you to serve now, reign later. Watch your E.G.O. Don’t ‘Edge God Out’, but ‘Exalt God Only.’ How? Lead people by serving people.”
In real leadership, the Game of Thrones is won by servant leaders, leading with a towel. The more you empower people, the more you gain power.
Ed Delph March 18, 2019 CCC
Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com