To lead is to guide others in the way they should go. And this is most effective when we have some experiential knowledge of the other. We’re just a bully pushing our own agenda when we don’t care for the things important to their heart. And we lead best as we enter their world and try to see things from their point of view.
Jesus willingly left his place in heaven and came to live with us on earth – becoming the ultimate example of how to live, and leading us back to the Father.
And whether at work, home, or communities – there’s a lesson of leadership here for us as well.
We’re simply a tyrant when we tell people what we want them to do without also considering how it impacts their heart and soul. Of course, this doesn’t mean we have to explain every decision. But it should be clear we actually care for them.
And part of how we develop genuine care is through our incarnation – entering the world of others and trying to experience life from their perspective.
For instance, this might include spending time doing the work we’re asking others to do, actively participating in the personal interests of our wife and kids, or visiting with those in our community we wouldn’t typically interact with.
Whatever it looks like, we develop empathy as we enter the world of others, and this equips us to lead well.
To be sure, others are less likely to follow us when we don’t demonstrate our care for them, regardless of how right we might be in our position otherwise. And we’re in a better position to help them take that next step or two forward the more we become like them as it were.
Follow the example of Christ and enter the world of others to lead them in the way they should go.