I have always found it interesting that I Corinthians 13 is sandwiched in between a chapter having to do with spiritual gifts and speaking in tongues. I know that all of us have probably heard it read at a wedding, but what if we took this same passage and applied it to our leadership? (Which, honestly, I think it was written more for church leaders and not wedding ceremonies!) Here we go…
#1 – “Love Is Patient” – Am I giving others the same room to make mistakes as I want them to give me?
#2 – “Love Is Kind” – Do the people I lead actually like being around me? (If you want to know the answer to this question, just ask yourself how much they ask to hang out with you outside of work!)
#3 – “It Does Not Envy” – Am I automatically jealous of anyone who has a great idea, and do I constantly perceive others as a threat to my position? (Another leader struggled with this; it didn’t go well with him – see I Samuel 18:6-9.) By the way, this is why some young leaders can’t thrive in their current conditions, because the more “mature” leader perceives them as a threat.
#4 – ‘It Does Not Boast” – Do I feel like I always need to remind people of my previous victories? (If we are obsessed with the past, then we’re not advancing towards the future!)
#5 – “It Is Not Proud” – Do I feel that I am the only one in the organization that has all of the answers?
#6 – “It Is Not Rude” – Am I always cutting people off mid-sentence as soon as I discover that I do not like their idea, or am I willing to hear them out? (People don’t always have to be right as long as they feel like they’ve been heard.)
#7 – “It Is Not Self Seeking” – Who is this about-really?
#8 – “It Is Not Easily Angered” – Are people afraid to bring me information that is true and accurate because they know I will lose my mind and begin to yell? (Don’t shoot the mailman!)
#9 – “It Keeps No Record of Wrongs” – Do I remind people of their past failures or encourage them in their current condition?
#10 – “Love Does Not Delight in Evil but Rejoices in the Truth” – Can people be honest and open with anyone in the organization, including me? (When a leader does not have people around him who will share the truth, he becomes the Emperor who had no clothes!)
#11 – “It Always Protects” – Do I have the back of my staff? It’s very discouraging to work for someone who demands loyalty but will not extend it.
#12 – “Always Trusts” – Do I believe the people who lead their assigned areas can make day-to-day decisions without my input?
#13 – “Always Hopes” – Do I always automatically assume the worst or the best about people? It is amazing what can happen on a staff when the leader believes in the people he leads.
#14 – “”Always Perseveres” – Am I quick to give up on people after they make one mistake, or am I willing to teach them through it?
#15 – “Love Never Fails” – Do I have a high turnover OR a low turnover in the number of people who work with me/for me? (If the number is high, then maybe it isn’t the people failing.)