can you do the two-step?

A friend of mine recently shared this: "If you’re one step ahead of your people, you’re a leader, if you’re three steps ahead, you’re a target.”

Let me add to his thought...

If you're perceived to be one step ahead of your people, you're a leader.  If you're not at least one step further in reality, though, you're going to become a target."

It's a tough balance, isn't it?  On one hand, you want to be growing in such a way that you don't say things because you need to sound important but because you've wrestled with important things and actually have something to say.  Otherwise you'll make stuff up to sound useful and end up creating a target on your back because of how it frustrates others.

On the other hand, people don't want to feel looked down on.  I've found that when people find out I'm a pastor they freak out... all sorts of baggage comes to the surface as the say things like, "Oh... yeah... that's cool.  I... um... I have a brother who used to go to church a lot.  And... I like Easter."

Sometimes people aren't so much rejecting you as much as they are their perception of you.

Case in point, there are people in my life whom I've tried to reach out... but rejected it.  For instance, one person thought he "already knew" everything I was going to say in a situation... so why should he listen?  Meanwhile, he kept on asking others for "advice" because he was so "open" and "interested" in what people could tell him about his blind spots.  Argh.

In that situation, it was all about perception.  He felt I had nothing to offer him, or perhaps I would do it in such a way that felt condescending.

I've found that this isn't an issue for truly humble people... they are willing to reach for higher goals than that, finding mentors who are well-schooled in things they are not.  But often due to pride, most people won't do that... they listen to you if they feel you're within an arm's reach of them, but not further.

Even though in reality you'd be be at least one step further down the road... lest you assume a role you shouldn't.

I think the best example of this was Jesus, who being in very nature God chose to humble Himself and take on the nature of a servant.  He was obviously anchored well and yet was so approachable... so able to connect with our needs up close.

Maybe there's a lesson in there.


1 comment:

  1. There is a lesson. And this morning I'm learning it. Always good to try to lead but not be overboard.