At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to Him a child, He put him in the midst of them, and said “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
So you want to be a leader? Well, be just like a child and you will do fine!
But why? Because children are curious.
But why? Because children have a way of looking at the world as if it’s eternally new.
But why? Because I said so!
See what I did there?
Have you ever had a conversation with a 5 year old where you tried to explain some new experience they had or a new concept that they’ve never heard of like why the sky is blue or grass is green? Then you know how it goes. They will incessantly ask questions until they are satisfied or you are fully frustrated! They have this knack for getting to the bottom of things (or your nerves) through asking tons of questions and not assuming anything. And they seem pretty forgetful too! These seemingly inherent traits of a child seem to be lost on many of us once we hit a certain age but I believe they are key to leading!
So, to be a great leader we should:
- Not assume anything: Never assume you fully understand the full concept or issue in front of you. There are always details that are hidden and our life experiences can blind us to those important details.
- Ask lots of questions and don’t give up until we understand: If you don’t understand, keep asking questions. Don’t feel inadequate because you don’t understand the issue. We sometimes think as leaders that we have to look like we know everything and that is the furthest from the truth. You should your leadership through allowing people to see that you understand your weaknesses and blind spots at times.
- Be forgetful: Children are awesome at this. We may correct a child and for a moment, they are totally upset with you but then 5 minutes later they are your best friend again. We should be the same. Offense will come but you have to choose what you do with it. We should take a lesson from children and be forgetful.
Now this list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a great start!
What are some other characteristics of a child you think leaders could benefit from?