I’m reading the story of Steve Jobs, founder and former CEO of Apple. It’s an incredible story of leadership, inspiration and passion, but it’s also a painful story of leadership. I don’t know if what is written about him is all true, however Steve Jobs was known for his ability to motivate and move people forward with passion and drive, pushing them to develop products that no one else could even imagine. However, it’s also true that Steve Jobs burned people out. His drive, his perfectionism and his autocratic leadership drove people away. People either loved him as a leader, or hated him as a leader. Those that could work in that environment experienced great success and those that couldn’t had to leave. I’m an Apple person, so I’m thankful for the vision of these products because I use them everyday, however I’m not sure how I would have done working under that kind of leader.
What about you?
If you lead a team, how do you relate to those you are leading?
As a leader, I want to instill confidence. I want to communicate trust and I want to give them space to develop their own leadership skills.
There’s a balance that a leader needs to find between “driving and pushing” a team and “empowering and inspiring” a team to do their best. We want to be effective and we want to fulfill the vision that God has given us.
I really appreciate the way Jesus led “his team” of disciples. He asked a lot of questions. He spent time talking about who He was and why He was on earth, and He also spent time “showing” them who He was.
I think the thing that most impacts me about Jesus’ model of team leadership is that He spent time walking on the road with His disciples. He spent time knowing them, doing life with them, looking for teaching opportunities with them, and just time building trust and relationship. The time He spent with them changed their lives forever. They grew, they had their eyes opened, they were empowered, and they caught the vision!
While Job’s inspired a great company and life-changing products, Jesus instilled in a handful a men a message that they would each give their life for. A message that brings hope, life and eternity to a lost and dying world.
I’ll enjoy my iphone while I’m here on earth, but I will get to spend eternity in the arms of Jesus!
Don’t spend so much time leading your team to greater effectiveness that you forget to do life together and you forget to talk about the things that are most important!