The truth can hurt, and it can inspire

At the retirement celebration of a pastor who had served a congregation for 30 years, he shared this story.

Halfway through seminary two professors pulled him aside with the same message “Based on your effort, you don’t deserve to be here”.  Instead of stopping there, they went on to say “But we know you belong here, so if you want to stay here this is what you need to do . . .  and we will help you.”  He made the changes, went on to a wonderful career, and touched many lives.

Too often accountability starts and stops with getting skilled at having the tough conversations.  Of telling people what they are not doing.

What about challenging them to an unseen, yet imagined, potential?

How much time do we take to see the value of the person beyond the task?

What is the cost of asking – What do you need to be successful?  Then providing it.  Imagine the potential impact!

Leadership is about asking the question, painting the picture, and assisting in the journey.  Great followership is about listening, accepting, working, and appreciating.

How many people will be including you in their story 30 years from now?