I have heard it said, “To be a good leader requires the ability to be a good follower.”
I have been in various positions of leadership. When I think of the kind of follower, I was . . .
well, I will resist judging myself. I will follow the example of the Apostle Paul, “. . . I do not
even judge myself.” I Corinthians 4:3NIV I will just tell you my story.
Whenever I would get a new position or job, I would learn my task as quickly as possible. I
would follow the trainer and be dedicated to learning so I could get the information I needed to
perform the task involved as quickly as possible. In those days I was an independent thinker and
worker. I learned later in life the difference between dependant, independent and interdependent.
Dependent is relying on others for all your needs. Independent is thinking you do not need
anybody’s help to do anything. Interdependent is doing for yourself what you can and being
humble enough to ask for help when you need it.
I took initiative and worked very hard. Usually within a few days I was trained and was set free.
I was a self-motivated worker, who needed very little supervision. Once I entered
management, I learned through management training programs how to deal with each employee
on the level they were on. New employees and old employees cannot both be supervised the
same way. Employees who are not self-motivated will not perform without direct and constant
supervision. You cannot treat self-motivated employees the same way you treat those employees
who are not self-motivated. Self-motivated people tend to have a strategy for getting their work
done. I learned as long as the end result is quality work, to give room the self-motivated
employee to work.
The gospel teaches us about Jesus’ leadership qualities. Jesus does not lord his authority over any
of us.1 Peter 5:3NIV Matthew 20:25-28NIV He gives us room to develop our God
given talents and abilities and he rewards our efforts. Matthew 25:14-30NIV He separates
the wheat from the chaff. Matthew 3:12NIV The wheat he brings closer unto himself, the chaff
he removes from his presence.
Once I was told by the Operations Manager for the franchisee I was employed by to toughen up.
He told me when I walk into my restaurant, my employees should jump to attention. He wanted
me to have this presence where my employees somewhat feared me. I resisted him. I wanted my
employees to be loyal enough to do a good job whether I was there or not. At the time there was
another General Manager working in another one of the franchisee’s restaurants. I was told to be
more like her. Her disposition began causing regular customers to stop coming, and causing
employee turn over to be extremely high. When this effected Sales and Profit some changes were
made. She left. I was transferred to replace her, to a store that was a five-minute drive from my
The store I had been managing, which was an hour commute for me both ways, was a
problematic store until I became the General Manager. Projected Sales and Profits Quotas were
not being met. Employee theft was also a big problem Employee turn over was high. New
employees were being run off by one group of employees.
In retrospect I see this was a good opportunity for God to work through me. With God’s grace, I
was able to put the store on the path to becoming a million dollars a year store. I had started
house hunting to get closer to the store. The Operations manager knew I was house hunting and
called me and told me not to keep looking. He said there had been a decision made to put me in
the store closer to where I lived.
Before it was all said and done, I was told that my type of leadership was the better way. I am
what I am by the grace of God. And God is the best leader. Since we are made in His image
and in the likeness of Jesus’ Christ (attitudes) we all have leadership potential. I thank God for
giving me this opportunity so He could reveal to me His Leadership qualities inside of me.
Romans 8:28,29NIV Having a relationship with God is the key to being able to tap into our
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