There are countless books, podcasts, blogs about leadership today, but one of the topics that most people shy away from is the role of love in leadership. As Christian leaders we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, and it is very difficult to lead well if we do not love well. I truly believe that if we can love well in our ministry and in our lives everything else will follow.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” One of the most important things that you can do for those that you lead is to make them feel valued. The quickest way to create friction on a team is if members do not feel cared for or important. A word of encouragement can make a world of difference. It is important to have great programs and excellent ministries, but the most important thing is the heart behind it all. Paul said that if we don’t have love, we have nothing.
What is the heartbeat behind your leadership today? Are you placing an emphasis on the people that you lead? There are so many ways that you can invest in the people that you lead. Listen to them when they speak, compliment them on their good work, and look for connections that can establish a relationship. Your teammates, volunteers, or employees need to know that you take an interest in them. The small talk and the you engage in can sometimes mean the most.
No matter if you lead a team, an organization, or your family, leadership always starts with yourself. This is not a new technique or a fancy way of doing things, just a simple correlation between loving well and leading well. One of my favorite verses is John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.’’
They will know us by our love as Christians and as leaders. We must start with love, everything stems from the heart.