There’s a myth when it comes to leadership that many of us tend to believe.
Leaders shouldn’t have to do menial tasks.
Things like taking out the garbage, folding brochures, inputting data into a spreadsheet, mingling with “the commoner,” stuffing envelopes, cleaning toilets, mopping floors…all those tasks are beneath a leader’s role and gift set.
That is, after all, why we hire janitors and administrative staff. Shouldn’t they take care of the menial work so the leader can focus on leading?
Yes. And no.
Yes, it’s awesome if you’re able to hire support staff who can take care of the operations tasks to allow leaders to focus on leading.
But, a leader who isn’t willing to lead by example, who is too “important” to do the menial work, is no real leader.
That’s Management 101.
A good manager, a good leader, doesn’t ask his or her employees to do something he or she wouldn’t be willing to do. It’s something I learned freshman year of college.
This weekend, I found that truth tested.
Saturday afternoon, I spent 2 hours tying up some tags we used to put on water bottles to hand out for Ignite at the Monmouth College Involvement Fair.
In the last four years we’ve put tags on water bottles, I’ve never had to do this task. We’ve always found a student, group of students, or volunteers who would do that work for us, so I could get other stuff done, like prepare messages or buy supplies.
This year, we couldn’t find anyone able to do it.
My first response was to skip it. I had no desire to spend my day off tying up tags, especially when these next two weeks will be full of recruitment events.
I’m the leader. I shouldn’t have to do this.
That’s when God smacked me.
A good leader doesn’t just shine in the spotlight. He or she shines when no one is watching. Tweet this
They put in the work, make the sacrifices, and do the tasks no one else can or wants to do.
Leadership isn’t just about speaking in front of groups, leading teams to accomplish amazing tasks, or headlining at some major conference.
True leadership is getting down on the ground and doing the work no one else wants to do. Tweet this
It’s being a servant.
Even when there’s no glory to be had.
“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28
How is God calling you to be more of a servant leader? Leave a comment below.
Background photo credit: bark (Creative Commons)