LOVE PEOPLE, REWARD PERFORMANCE
Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.
Educators in the United States have been seeking ways to increase students’ test scores. One popular theory states that the best way to improve children’s ability is to puff up their self-esteem because high-achievers tend to have high self-esteem. However, researchers have found that simply building children’s egos breeds many negative traits: indifference to excellence, inability to overcome adversity, and aggressiveness toward people who criticize them.
Now, I place high value on praising people, especially children. But I also believe that you have to base your praise on truth. Here’s the approach I use to encourage and lead others:
I use that method with everyone, including myself. And no matter where I fail or how many mistakes I make, I don’t let it devalue my worth as a person. As the saying goes, “God uses people who fail—cause there aren’t any other kinds around.”
How do you show people that you value them and praise their performance?
BE A CATALYST
How are you when it comes to crunch time on your team? Do you want the ball, or would you rather it was in someone else’s hands? If there are more talented and effective catalysts on your team, then you should not want to be the go-to player in a pinch. In those cases, the best thing you can do is get an “assist” by helping to put those people into position to benefit the team. But if you avoid the spotlight because you are afraid or because you haven’t worked as hard as you should to improve yourself, then you need to change your mind-set.
Start to put yourself on the road to improvement by doing the following things:
• Find a mentor. Players become catalysts only with the help of people better than themselves. Find someone who makes things happen to help you along the way.
• Begin a growth plan. Put yourself on a program that will help you develop your skills and talents. You cannot take the team to a higher level if you haven’t gotten there.
• Get out of your comfort zone. You won’t know what you’re capable of until you try to go beyond what you’ve done before.
If you follow these three guidelines, you still may not become a catalyst, but you will at least become the best you can be—and that’s all that anyone can ask of you.
TAKE ONE OF THESE STEPS TOWARD GROWTH TODAY.
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it
He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
Remember that mentor leadership is all about serving. Jesus said, ‘For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
—J. A. Shedd.