“For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.”
Writer and publisher Jim VendeHei has an interesting take on the degrees of “Power”. We pretty much understand the meaning of “Hard” Power. If we ever worked for an autocratic manager or even now as we watch the workings of authoritarian political leaders, we quickly recognize what hard leadership looks like. But less noticed or celebrated are the “soft” power leaders. If we have worked for them, or seen them, we know them, because we love them, respect them and try to emulate them as best we can. It is a valid argument as to whether “soft” power leaders can achieve what some “hard” leaders do. I get it, as I know personally those have worked for leaders like Elon Musk. I also knew personally Steve Jobs. And, I do wonder if that level of excellence and breakthrough innovation can/could be achieved without pushing people to levels that they didn’t think capable. I honestly don’t know, but I do like VendeHei’s rules on how, if we desire, to become a good “soft” power leader:
“Be a killer with humility: There’s no substitute for talent. But you’ll hit a low ceiling fast if you’re not humble enough to put others before yourself.
Ditch jerks fast: This is true in life and business: Self-centered, egotistical people are cancerous. Cut ’em out before their badness spreads — and infects you.
Candor rules: Quit being indirect. So many people dance around hard discussions out of fear or insecurity. It’s time wasted. There’s magic in polite, direct, transparent conversations. Try it.”
If we are trying to grow as leaders we should be constantly challenging ourselves to grow…and to grow beyond who we are at the time. That might mean figuring out if we are “hard” or “soft” leaders and then more importantly, deciding who we want to be.
Where on the spectrum would we place Jesus as a leader? He was strong with his POV. He was not afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings when it came to calling them out on their beliefs. He did not back down or cow-tow to the culture around Him. He called it like He saw it and was consistent in that. However, He did accept the broken, the weak, the failed, the sick, the begging as if He was one of them. He wept openly when He lost a friend. He never built up Himself, only others. You might say, “He practiced what He preached” and He modeled for us the ultimate way to master “soft” power. What can we learn today as the type of power we are utilizing and more importantly, the power that we are living from?
Reference: 1 Corinthians 4:20 (New Living Translation)