As I read this quote and read about this man, born into a very simple family, the individual that grew GE to become a huge success, my first thought was completely the opposite! For me, ‘as leaders, we want to grow to be great leaders’, ‘why do we have to grow others, why let others have the better of it?’ After all, is it not ‘Me’ who has the ‘great thoughts’, the ‘great ideas’, the ‘wonderful dreams’, the ‘power to strategize’ and everything else?’.
Author and evangelical pastor, Rick Warren gives us much insight into this dilemma, I have learnt so much about ‘purpose’ from him and as i deliberate over this topic of ‘success’ and ‘others’, let me share some of my learning!
If I sincerely believe that success is about growing others, then my outlook has to make a U-turn and truly get into a very different mode. It requires changes in how I go about doing things! Rick Warren talks about two methods that can help people grow and two that certainly does not! The two that helps us grow is Growing through Example and Growing through Conversations.
Many years ago, during a ‘Maundy Thursday‘ service, I still remember this humbling experience. The pastor of our church asked a few of us to come forward (and since it was just a handful of us in church, we all went forward) and sat down in the sanctuary area of the church. I was not a big fan of this pastor, I chose the corner seat and sat down very reluctantly. Before I could make any moves, the pastor took a basin of water, placed my feet in it and began to wash my feet, reminding all of us of the meaning of why we were in church that day. He did this with all present. I was humbled, I had never had this experience in my life and even today, if I am to be reminded of this example, the only question I keep asking myself is, can I do this to others? The whole purpose of this action is based on the example and teaching of Jesus. I guess this action and example is good enough to remind me that if I want to be successful, I have to be humble enough to learn to help others!
Grow through conversations is to grow in our relationships at our home, our workplace, our society and with anyone we meet. I must have critical conversations about real issues! This is probably the hardest thing to do in today’s day and age, we talk to our phones and PC’s, we can never really ‘talk’ face to face! Again, my reminder is that if I want to be successful, I must dedicate time to having face-to face conversations around the things that really matter in life!
Two ways that truly don’t help people grow are the two areas that we love best, we thrive on this, it is our strength – ‘Criticism‘ & ‘Comparing‘! Criticism is proved not to help anyone grow! Nagging doesn’t work! Condemning doesn’t work! Criticizing and complaining are totally ineffective in helping a person grow. I know this personally and, trust me, I love to do this all the time. Everybody is unique and why is it that I am not able to see this in others? Nobody in the world is like me and my realization is that by comparing, nothing will ever work! In fact, the more I do this, the more I compare, the more I realize how lethal it is to any relationship I may have!
We learn and we hear this everyday, “Love one another.” “Care for one another.” “Pray for one another.” “Encourage one another.” “Help one another.” “Counsel one another.” “Support one another.” These kinds of statements go on and on and the question that keeps coming back to me is, “so what am I doing about it?”
- I am thinking about the conversations I have had recently and I am asking myself as to how much time did I spend talking about things that really matter in life?
- I am constantly reminded of the life of Jesus and I am asking myself in what ways can I be an example of Him?
- I am asking myself that instead of comparing or criticizing, can I build up people in and around my life?
If you want to be inspired more on this subject, follow the devotions at http://bible.com/r/4Tm