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Loving the Leaders Around You

I’ve been fortunate over the past 10 years to lead some really great leaders.  Leading someone with talent, skill, influence, and passion takes a special kind of love.  Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the years, with some much more important than the others; but all worth being put into practice.

Loving your Leaders:

  • Always start on time.
  • Never speak long when you only have something short to say.
  • Honesty is more important than flattery.
  • Give their kids fist bumps and high fives at every opportunity.
  • Pray for them.
  • There is still a place for flattery.
  • If they don’t drink Starbucks, then don’t take them there for meetings.
  • Compliment them on their shoes.
  • Keep the cynic away from them when they’re  vulnerable.
  • Take the time to invest in learning their kids’ names.
  • Play a practical joke on them every once in a while, just to show them you care.
  • Make their time in the office worth it.
  • Let them borrow your stuff.
  • Never tease on them in front of the people they lead.
  • Cancel the meeting if you have nothing important to say.
  • Give them books.
  • Invite them to do things with your family.
  • Let them always go first, and second, and third, and fourth.
  • If they don’t like practical jokes, then don’t risk it.
  • Help them with a personal problem.
  • Laugh the loudest at yourself.
  • Take the seat farthest from the most important when leading a meeting at a board room conference table.
  • Keep the play-by-play on the obvious at a minimum.
  • Advocate for them when they are within earshot.
  • Let their ideas belong to them.
  • Speak well of them, in front of the people that love them.
  • Thank their wives or husbands for the gift of their spouses time that they willingly give away so often.
  • Surprise them with small gifts, at the most unexpected times.
  • Buy breakfast…often.
  • Share your blessings and gifts with them.
  • Give them some of your own opportunities to get the credit.
  • Clean out the fridge at work.
  • Pray with them.
  • Give them the close parking spots.
  • Say your sorry when it’s called for.
  • Always end on time.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.