Encouragement Is 51 Percent of Leadership

Encouragement leadership

Encouragement provides the emotional fuel that enables people to hold longer, reach farther and dig deeper than previously believed possible. John Maxwell says that encouragement is 51 percent of leadership. I believe that. As a leader, your role is to give people hope, to build them up and help them believe in themselves in a greater measure than they have before. In short, to live a better life.

Do others see you as an encourager?

Encouragement isn’t something that you do from a checklist of “things to do today.” It’s a way of life for a leader. Encouragement is not a soft expression from a weak leader. The toughest of good leaders understand that it’s something core to sustained influence. Essentially, sincere encouragement comes from a deep love of and belief in people, and a desire to see them experience life in a better way.

Encouragers naturally draw people to them.

Let me raise the bar on the definition for encouragement. As a leader in a local church, if you are an encourager, people will naturally migrate to you. When they see you, they smile and instinctively walk toward you. This is not about a charismatic personality. It doesn’t matter if five people seek you out or 55 people seek you out. The point is that people will literally move to you because you cause their life to be a little brighter. I’m not talking about people who want permission for something, an extension cord or keys to the storage area, but people who just want to be around you!

Let’s be honest, life is wonderful but it’s difficult. True? Do you have any financial challenges? How’s your health? Do you have kids? Life is good, but it has plenty of challenges. Life will press people down, so anyone who consistently lifts people up (sincerely) gains the ability to influence—meaning to lead!

If you are a leader in a local church and people don’t migrate to you, there is a reason. You need to discover what it is. Ask someone you trust, who loves you and will tell the truth. For now, start encouraging others. Do it sincerely and often.

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Dan Reiland
Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.