Leaders Know When To Follow

As leaders, we look to lead when new opportunities arise. If we have led long enough, we know our ability to be effective depends upon context, our familiarity with the space, and current relationships.

The best leaders are secure enough in their own identity to gracefully follow and lend their influence to help the team accomplish the mission.

My opportunity to follow

This past Summer my family was blessed with an opportunity to serve others in a special way. We travelled with a group of 15 people to a town just across the California boarder and partnered with an organization that builds houses for families in need.

When we aren’t the expert

As a person that has the gift of leadership, I could have tried to lead the effort of construction, but we would not have finished the work, our team would have struggled to get the materials, and house would not have been safe for the family.

This means we can still lead through demonstrating good followership when we are not the expert. Our team accomplished the mission because we followed our building leaders and were able to achieve a good result.  We trusted each other and the process.

Helping others achieve their dreams is what leaders do

A home provides stability, improves health, and gives opportunity to spend scarce funds on other things the family desperately needs.  We found it difficult to believe that in just two days a very small effort on our part could make such a profound impact.  We also learned the small home can take up to 10 years of family savings to purchase on their own.

The joy of serving belongs to both the giver and the receiver.

Serving must be modeled

Choosing to serve in another country, a local soup kitchen, or in the corporate world, people follow what we do.  They are not impressed by our words. Service must be modeled and it must be personal to have the most impact on the giver and receiver.

In going to Mexico, we were able to model for our 3rd grader the importance of service.   She was able to be part of a team serving others in a way meaningful to the family.   This experience will help her frame her thoughts about her responsibility to serve.

Looking to give back in personal way?

I am considering assembling a group of 15 to work with Homes of Hope to build another house in the future. 2 days of work and 2 days to travel San Diego and back. Prior to departure, our group would be responsible for securing all the money needed to build the home and furnishings to be given to the recipient family. This would be an experience you won’t soon forget as we would set out to do something meaningful together. Interested in learning more?  Please send a note to eric@shepherdingheart.com me know and I will be in touch if there is enough interest.