Leadership Lesson Four – Relationships before Productivity

Those who gravitate to leadership are often those able to make things happen. Those who ‘do’ among us are rewarded and given positions of responsibility and authority. And yet any leader who wants to continue in respected positions of leadership must learn that at the heart of all great leadership is an ability to relate with people. John 13:34-35

Now, many of us would shake our heads ‘Yes!’ as we hear this, and yet what happens when a relationship goes bad? What happens when we are given the choice of choosing productivity or relationship?

Sadly, particularly when we are immature, we often choose the productivity rather than working to right any relationships. And yet, relationships reveal the heart of any leader. Matthew 5:23-24

Relationship are also the key to productivity. Burn the bridges of relationship and we will begin to feel it’s effect in our team’s ability to be productive. When we are at odds with those we are working alongside, productivity fails. Hebrews 10:24-25

Leaders must take on a priority of relationships even as their eyes are on the productivity. And within a Christian context, a context of the body of Christ, we forget all too easily that our work is in fact relationships. Our productivity is people and our corporate growth alongside each other. Ephesians 4:16

When we go after productivity at the expense of people we all lose out.

QUESTIONS – To ask ourselves: 

  • Have I ever discarded someone because they got in the way of my goals?
  • Have I been too quick to disregard the concerns of others?
  • Have I sought to really listen and understand opposing viewpoints, to see what they are seeing?
  • Have I prayed about and listened for the Lord’s leading in regards to particularly difficult relationships?
  • Have I surrendered my goals to God?

APPLICATION ASSIGNMENT – Here is what you might do with this: 

  1. Get a pen and paper and go to the Lord in prayer.
  2. Ask God to reveal to you broken relationships that he wants you to make right.
  3. Write down each name and instance.
  4. Then, go to each person and confess your part of the problem; tell him or her your responsibility in the situation.
  5. After this, state your intention in regards to your relationship with them. For instance, it might be something like this, “I intend to listen to you better than I have, because I value your perspective.”
  6. Then, maintain connection and truly show up in people’s lives in a way that strengthens them.
  7. Repeat as often as necessary.

ACCOUNTABILITY – Let someone know: 

The best way to grow in leadership is to have a few people close in around you that can speak into your life and who will receive your words spoken into their life. But this must be a mutual and equal thing. John 13:3-14

Practice mutual submission in this way with other trusted leaders. Keeping in mind that trusted leaders are those who can freely admit their mistakes and are learning from them. Philippians 2:5-8

Find one or two or three others who have this kind of humility and meet on a regular basis with them. Share with each other how you are working to make relationships the centre of your work. James 5:16a, Proverbs 28:13

 In Conclusion:

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 

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