Phillipians 2:3, Knowing those around you
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”
I think it would be reasonably difficult to locate anyone in our schools that acts consistently out of “selfish ambition or conceit” as in this passage. But it certainly is very easy to act from within our own perspectives. In this passage we are being urged to consider our actions, approaches and plans from the perspectives of others and this is an important leadership skill. In his bestselling book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie stated it clearly: “become genuinely interested in other people.” Leadership is all about your people. As a leader, you are tasked with being a person who lovingly leads others. If you cultivate your love and interest in other people, you will improve as a leader.
Drexel King of the Association for Talent Development suggests 4 strategies:
1. Self-Assess – Successful relationships have a lot to do with emotional intelligence. What is your ability to be self-aware, to self-manage, to read your audience, and to manage the room?
2. Conduct school Drive-Bys – Establish a trigger that gets you away from your desk and walking around your school with the sole purpose of learning about your staff.
3. Don’t Win the War, Win Small Battles – If you have a relationship that needs major improvement, look for small victories rather than immediate transformation. Give employees time to see they can trust you and that you genuinely care.
4. Lead by Example – If you expect people to open up about themselves, go first. If you want to go deeper, dive in. A great exercise for getting people to know each other is to have everyone grab one meaningful thing from their office or classroom to present to the group.
An in our contexts, Christ would urge a fifth:
5. Pray – pray for your staff daily and by name. God will enable us to see them as he sees them, and He will give you insights about their gifts and talents.
1 Timothy 2:1 “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people”