Creative Leadership

Leaders: How Do You Use Your Authority?

This morning I was reading 2 Corinthians 10, which contains the line: “Authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you.” I felt a twinge of guilt as I thought how often I’ve used my authority as a club to beat people into submission. How quickly do we want to win arguments, prove we’re in charge, or get snarky just to sound superior? Probably way to often. That’s why Paul forces us to look in the mirror and think about how we use power.

Let’s stop and consider who we’re in authority over today. It might be team members, employees, volunteers, or our children. Second, think of who you might encounter today. Chances are you’ll meet people who aren’t as smart, experienced, or savvy as you, so you have a choice to be superior and condescending, or humbling yourself and using your experience, intelligence, or authority to encourage and help.

Instead of the natural urge to remind them that we’re in charge, let’s use our power over people to encourage and build them up. Ultimately, the greatest leaders inspire others to do the right thing. The worst leaders force them into submission.

The choice is yours.

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  1. Well said Phil As a pastor I know I have a choice of how to lead. To lead with force or to lead with love (like Jesus). Every day I must make that choice. I want people to follow as I follow Jesus (ala Paul’s words).

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