I know mother’s day was a few weeks ago already, but the topic got me thinking about what we as leaders can learn from mothers. Now there’s a hang of a lot we can glean, but I’d like to draw on just one principle.
Leading is about having open arms.
One of the Hebrew names for God is El-Shaddai, and one of its interpretations means “the breasted one”. Figuratively, the name connotes God as our nourisher and sustainer, the One who gives us comfort. Now if God identifies Himself as One who gives comfort and safety to His followers, we can draw the following principle from that for ourselves:
We need to be a place of safety for those we lead.
Simon Sinek has pointed out that when people feel supported, when they feel unconditionally loved – in short, when they feel safe around their leaders – then they will be willing to take risks. And risk-taking, as we all know, is an inevitable step on the road to breakthrough.
I know this sounds paradoxical, because we’re conditioned to think that breakthroughs come from being driven, and drivenness is always associated with harshness. But it’s not true. As a driven leader, how can you work on being a place of safety for those you lead? Do your followers know that if they fail at a venture, you will welcome them with open arms and encourage them to try again?
It may sound weird in this corporate world of ours, but reaching out a hand of love towards those under you may just be the best thing you could do for your church, organisation or company.
But what do you think?