About a week ago I had an epiphany–one that I hope you’ll find inspiring. In fact, I was so thrilled that I decided to dedicate the next three Manhood Monday posts around the topic of effective leadership with the goal of nurturing male leadership skills. The first principle I’d like to mention is:
Speak a language that speaks to your followers.
Ok, so here’s my moment of enlightenment in a nutshell. Christ was a carpenter yet, when He recruited Peter and Andrew (fishermen by trade), Jesus said, “I will make you a fishers of men.” Matthew 4:18 KJV.
I don’t think Christ was trying to be funny; He was making a spiritual point. However, this statement also reveals a key element of effective leadership. Good leaders speak in terms to which their followers can relate.
Too often leaders are egocentric; we speak in terms that make sense to us or draw on our own psycho-emotional backgrounds. This conveys that the leader is the main guy, the one that’s the most important. True to form, Christ shows us that good leaders place their followers as more important than themselves in both words and actions.
Case in point: In his book, How to Influence People, John Maxwell cites the following quote from Abraham Lincoln.
If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his friend.
The connection begins by speaking in terms that make sense to the other person.
Something to think about: what do your words say about your leadership skills. Are they “you” focused or “them” focused? Can you go beyond your own comfort zone to better relate to those who rely upon you?
I hope this simple truth inspires you as much as it did me.