Leaders Go First

What kind of leader do you like to follow?

I don’t know about you, but I want to follow the leader that has proven they are willing to do what they ask others to do. I’m not necessarily talking about technical skills so much as modeling a servant-minded attitude.

I wasn’t always this kind of servant-minded leader. In fact, there was a time I was the opposite: the kind of leader that expected the people around me to behave in ways that I was not behaving. Our first marriage counselor helped me understand this. I thought the problem was that Amanda wouldn’t listen to me. But the real problem was me. I expected her to change, yet I was doing nothing to change myself.

When I admitted this, and began to improve myself as the leader, it was amazing how much Amanda’s ‘listening’ improved! I needed to take responsibility in order to become the kind of leader my wife wanted to follow. She wasn’t interested in following me so long as I wasn’t modeling what I taught, that was clear. In order for her to follow my lead, I had to improve my people skills—and not just for my marriage. At the time I was leading a team of people at work. I remember being surprised at how well the people skills and relational understanding I was gaining helped me in all areas of my life, especially in my marriage and my workplace.

Although change has been slow for me, I continue to improve as a leader. I believe it’s possible for anyone to become a better leader if they are willing to take responsibility to first improve themselves.

One reason I love to help people with their people/communication skills is because I’ve been helped so much in this area. It’s not always easy to go first and it’s not always easy to learn new mindsets, but the good news is that it’s possible, and the payoffs are more than I could have ever imagined. I now have stronger, healthier relationships simply because I realized I didn’t know enough about relating with others and decided to do something about it.

What are you doing today that will move you to become the kind of leader others want to follow? I encourage you to go first.

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