The Law of Connection Part 6
Rehoboam: Leaders Touch Hearts-1 Kings 12:1-24
A leader can't connect with people only when he is communicating to groups; he must connect with individuals. The stronger the relationship and connection between individuals, the more likely the follower will want to help the leader. Some leaders have problems because they believe that followers must take the responsibility to connect. But successful leaders always initiate. They take the first step and then make the effort to continue building relationships.
When a leader has done the work to connect with his people, you can see it in the way the organization functions. Employees show incredible loyalty and a strong work ethic. The people aspire to the vision of the leader. The impact is incredible.
Connecting requires giving. The power-hungry Rehoboam wanted to flex his political muscles more than he desired to connect with his people. Rehoboam never learned the Law of Connection. If you desire to connect with others, check your motives:
- Get beyond yourself.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer asserted, "Whatever you have received more than others—in health, in talents, in ability, in success . . . all this you must not take to yourself as a matter of course. In gratitude for good fortune, you must render some sacrifice of your own life for another life."
Selfishness and insecurity usually lie at the heart of those who fail to get beyond themselves. Clearly, Rehoboam never got beyond himself. His bullying earned him not more respect, but contempt. To connect with people, remain others-minded and remember that leadership is a privilege.
- Grow beyond yourself.
Mahatma Gandhi once remarked, "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems."
Had Rehoboam gleaned from the experience of the elders, he would have discovered how little he knew about leading. But this cocky and unteachable young man missed a great opportunity for growth—and so destroyed the nation. If you want to grow beyond yourself, remain humble and teachable.
- Give beyond yourself.
Individuals with low self-esteem almost always focus chiefly on themselves. Conversely, a study from the University of Michigan revealed that people who regularly volunteer their time heighten their zest for living and increase their life expectancy.
Rehoboam had no interest in what he could give; he aimed to get the maximum. Effective leaders must persistently ask themselves, "What am I doing for others?" Be a river, not a reservoir.
- Go beyond yourself.
"When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced," goes a Middle Eastern saying. "May you live your life so that when you die, the world will cry, and you will rejoice."
Every great leader has the ability to connect. If you want to be a better leader, you must learn to connect with people. Do it, and you will dramatically raise your level of leadership. Do it well, and people will follow you anywhere.
Join me next time for The Law of Connection Part 7