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                                             In Your Heart…

Good morning dear reader & welcome to my world for another week. Following on from my most recent article on retreat, I have again been reflecting recently upon the time when there have been lots of days when I wanted to hide out in my office & not have to deal with anybody.  There have been plenty of times over the years when the people I worked with were not on my heart, but they sure were on my nerves.  I suspect you know exactly what I am talking about.

But I did not ever want this to be true of me.  Too many times I have had the head of a leader, but not the heart. When life moves too fast, the personal care & attention of those on our team tends to be one of the first things to go. Without even being aware of it, our mindset toward people can slowly begin to change.  Instead of seeing them as people, we can begin to view them as tools to help us accomplish a job. Leadership is never accomplished at the expense of those on our team.

When we talk about building a healthy team, I think the right place to start is with your own heart.  Do you like the people on your team?  Let this question wash over you for just a minute… Do you really like the people you lead?

You CAN be a leader and NOT like people… you really can. But you cannot be an effective leader and NOT like & respect those on your team. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr… “Power (leadership) without love is reckless & abusive.”

This means people know & feel our first concern for them is personal, not professional. I am talking about the kind of personal care one regularly communicates “what matters most is not what we want from them, but what we want for them.”  “We care about your marriage.  We care about your kids.  We care about your health. We care about your pace of life”.

Often when a leader walks into a meeting, he or she usually has only one thing on the brain: mission advancement. However, we must be relational, not transactional leaders.
Lance Witt tells the story of a time when he & his wife had a room at the Crowne Plaza right next to Times Square in New York. They were having a great time seeing the sights of the city, but after the first day his wife came down with the flu. When housekeeping came to the door to clean the room, he let them know his wife was ill & they just needed some fresh towels.  They handed us some towels & went on their way.

A couple of hours later there was a knock on the door.  At the door was someone from room service with a tray.  The tray was covered with a white linen cloth & on the tray was a bowl of soup, fresh bread, something to drink & a single flower in a vase.  Also on the tray was a card signed by the lady from housekeeping.  The card read “There is no place like home when you are not feeling well. We hope this helps you feel a little better while you are in our home.”  They were amazed, never having been treated with such personal care by a hotel. 

He remembered thinking, “If the Crowne Plaza can treat people with such value & care, why can a leader not do the same.” We ought to the lead the way in treating people with dignity, respect & care.

And the best place to begin is with your team.  May the people you lead always be in your heart.

Thank you for taking the time to be with me once again. I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson, with my best wishes for the weekend ahead. I look forward to being with you all again next week.


Kenn Butler
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