If there is anything I have learned in the short time I have been a pastor, it’s that leadership is hard. As a leader you often get praise you don’t deserve, as well as criticism you don’t deserve. There are incredible blessings and incredible challenges when you are the leader. Whether it be in your business, church, school, sports team, etc…when you are the leader you will deal with some fair and unfair things.
The article in the Daily Oklahoman illustrates my point perfectly. Kevin Durant is one of the best, if not the best, players in the NBA. He will most likely receive the coveted MVP award in just a few short weeks. He has led in scoring, carried the Thunder on his back when injuries plagued the team, been a great example of generosity to Oklahoma through tornado recovery, spoken publicly about his faith, and on and on. So…what happens when he struggles a little bit in a tough series, he gets called “Mr. Unreliable.” This is not the time to criticize the leader, this is the time to lift him up!!! When the leader struggles, that’s when he needs encouragement!!! Yes, it’s basketball and yes, it doesn’t matter eternally…but the principles need to be remembered. When your boss struggles, build him up! When you superintendent struggles, build him up! When your teacher struggles, build him up! When your captain struggles, build him up! When your pastor struggles, build him up! And on and on!!!
Yes, strong leaders have to rise up regardless of criticism…that just comes with the territory, but people need to remember that leaders are people too, and when they are down, don’t kick them, lift them up!!!
And all this is coming from a Spurs fan…so you know it’s gotta be right? LOL! Seriously, Kevin Durant might score 10 tonight and play horrible…he might score 50 and rock the house…but regardless of his performance, remember what he has done this season and pick him up! He’s earned it!!!
Another quality of leadership is learning to value EVERY member of your team, from top to bottom, both applauding them for their hard work and nurturing them, rather than viewing them as a tiny, unimportant cog in the big machine.