I am far from the first person to write about this topic, but I have just been reminded of the need for grace in my own leadership.
Recently a change of plans at work impacted me directly. I wasted no time in putting out a response and making my opinion known.
Later, after mulling over my choice of words and approach, I realized I had not been as graceful as I could have been. I felt much better after I called the person who had received my response and apologized.
In retrospect I realize we all have unexpected changes in our lives. When those inevitable moments come we want to know we can share them with our leaders without fear of being rebuffed.
We want grace. We want a safe place to serve and communicate and do ministry together. As artists we already feel like we are undressing in front of an audience every time we share our art with the public or our leaders. We need to know our leaders will not take advantage of us in those vulnerable moments.
Christ modeled this graceful leadership throughout his ministry and continues even today by offering grace for us in our most ungraceful moments. Even at the last supper, when Judas was to go out and betray Jesus, Jesus simply told him to do what he needed to do. Jesus did not lash out at the man who would assist in his death; Jesus showed grace.
We as leaders have a responsibility to shepherd those we lead in a way that would follow Christ’s example, so grace must always be part of the equation.
In summary, here are a few things I learned from my encounter:
- Be truthful. As a leader I have a responsibility to communicate the truth of a situation; even painful truth is better than a half-truth.
- Be graceful. That truth, however, must be paired with grace. Grace means giving room for someone to grow. Grace means acknowledging that I have probably done the same thing at some point.
- Be patient. Instead of cramming my response in before a meeting, I should have waited to respond until after I had time to think and process.
- Be compassionate. In responding quickly I blasted right past the opportunity to ask good questions. The answer to those questions may have proved invaluable in growing my understanding of the situation.
How do you need to be more graceful in your leadership?