Leaders Do Not Have a Private Life

Teacher and field and students
(iStock photo)

Mary Parker Follett wrote, "There is no wall between my private life and my public life." She made consistent claims that her life experiences were used to develop her progressive and effective notions of organizational productivity.

One of the problems in growing young leaders is their misguided definition of how leaders lead. A leadership position is not a reward with corporate blessings to "cut back" and let others do the heavy lifting. Highly effective leaders will be found at the front of the pack, doing the heaviest of lifting. Leaders may not appear to be the most balanced of people because they are driven by the needs of the team.

Follett's mantra of "power with" versus "power over" clearly points to an inclusive leader, deeply engaged with the work of her team. A field leader isn't aloof or disconnected or gone fishing. The competency of an effective leader is observable, demonstrated and taught. Leaders get muddy.

The teaching-leader makes frequent use of object lessons in life. As Jesus led and taught his disciples, He pointed to birds and trees and various natural objects as they walked. He taught as He led throughout their days together—there wasn't a starting bell or ending gong to announce the beginning and end of work.

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When the disciples were worn out from a hard day of work and rested on the mountainside, Jesus challenged the compassion of his leaders-in-training. Compassion drives the work ethic of effective leaders. It's very hard to "take the day off" when our eyes see needs.

There isn't an entitlement to free time. I understand the teaching of rest. But I better understand the leader's call to serve. We can do more.

Our private life is always public.

"Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, 'I have compassion on the crowd, because they have remained with Me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I will not send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way'" (Matt.15:32).

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, here.

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Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.

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