I read Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership at B&N in just a few hours yesterday (12/26/2011) and learned a few things about leadership from the noble style of Jesus. Below are a few examples I’d like to share:
1. Jesus would spend all day teaching someone who was willing to learn but paid no mind to those who just wanted to argue and debate. He’d leave them and move on to others. I’ve come across many people like that in the past. How often do we get caught up trying to educate the unteachable whose mission is just to argue and deter us from our path?
2. Jesus would praise his followers with “Well done” and also treat them like peers. Earlier this year, I learned from John Paul Dejoria (owner of Paul Mitchell and Patron) to “Praise publicly and loudly” which is something he practices with his employees. Remember that people need to know that they are doing a good job too.
3. “While leaders attract followers, at any moment they must be able to walk away from them, lest they become followers themselves.” Be prepared to walk alone. It only takes one Shepard to herd a whole flock of sheep.
4. Be loud and stand out from the crowd. Reminds me of an old Adventure Paul quote… “Just because people are looking doesn’t mean there is any reason to be embarrassed.”
After reading this book, I spoke to a young single mother of two named Pattie. Earlier I had offered to watch her belongings at the table next to me while she went to purchase a pack of pens to finish her homework. Before leaving, I asked how her studying was going. We quickly got into conversation and speaking to her felt like a breath of fresh air. Someone so young with so many responsibilities who could remain so positive and optimistic was inspiring. Our conversation took us down a road which led to the following question that I’ve been asking everyone lately:
“Are we Good people who do Bad things, or Bad people who do Good things?”
The past few weeks my business partner and I have been debating that question. I used to have a strong stance in one direction but lately that opinion has been skewed. It’s almost as if people (including strangers) have been going out of their way to prove me wrong. Perhaps it’s a test of my faith. I think it’s sad to think you have to have faith to believe that people are good. What do you think is the answer to that question?
Before answering.. I remind you of the story (loosely retold) about the man whose horses ran away and his neighbors said “That’s bad.” Later his horses returned with a flock of sheep and his neighbors said, “That’s good.” The next day the man was riding one of his horses, fell off, broke his arms, and his neighbors said, “That’s bad.” The next week his country went to war and he was spared of the draft because his arms were broken and his neighbors said, “That’s good”–the story goes on like this for a while. I remind you of this story to also raise the question of… Is there good and bad or merely a series of events that we can judge as good or bad out of context from each other?
Thank you for reading.
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