Posted by: everynation | November 21, 2007

Look Out Below

keithtower.gifby Keith Tower

On a recent trip to Disney, I was carrying my young niece around on my shoulders so she could have a better view of the park. If mine is “the view from 7 feet”, hers was “the view from 8 feet”. It became pretty clear to me that the ice cream bar that she was “wearing” could not stand up to the hot Florida sun. The next big drip from her mouth landed right on my head!

You know, when you commit to “lifting” somebody up, to helping them live a little higher, to boosting them to the next level, you need to be willing to get a little messy. Because ultimately leadership puts you in 3 different postitions that can expose you to a few “drips”. First of all, leadership and lifting others involves you being close. The most impact is made on those to whom we are the closest. As you take the time to know others and be known, you are bound to be exposed to their messes. But avoid the temptation to lead from afar and you will be able to experience people’s victories in a whole new way!

look-out-below.jpgSecondly, leadership involves being willing to stoop low to push another high. My niece didn’t jump, fly, or climb up onto my shoulders. I bent down and lifted her up, ice cream and all. I am so glad that the Jesus I serve did not just sit in the cleanliness of heaven and call to me to “rise up”. Instead, e came down low, to where I was, and picked me up. The leaders who have most impacted me personally, were willing to push me up from below rather than pull me up from the top.

Third, a leader knows that when it is hot, someone they have lifted may melt a little. If we empower and trust in others, they may not always hold up like we think they should. Choose and lift wisely, train well, but understand that anything worth doing is worth doing wrong. As you build others for long term health, you may take a few short term drips.

Despite the messes that sometimes happen, invest in people and lead them by being with them. You can always put on a hat on the really hot days.

Keith Tower is a former NBA basketball player, the author of The View from Seven Feet, and the senior pastor of HighPoint Church in Orlando, Florida.


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