Leadership comes in a thousand little moments

In our society, when we talk about “leadership,” I think we often think of a general, leading people into battle, someone who’s decisive. And to be fair, there are obviously times where that’s necessary.

But as I think about leadership, those types of situations can be relatively rare.

To illustrate this point, think about marriage. There are big events in a marriage: the wedding day, the birth of a child, anniversaries. Those are really big moments. And those days can all be great days but that doesn’t mean that the marriage is going to be good.

Because there’s a thousand little moments everyday that matter. A major factor in leadership is actually the environment that you work to create: it’s how you treat people, how you serve people. It’s being kind and selfless. It’s caring about people and wanting their good. It’s setting a good example and people witnessing you daily holding yourself to the same standard you expect of everyone else. If you don’t hold yourself to that standard, people will see you’re a hypocrite and they won’t respect you. If you just are in it for yourself, you won’t be effective because people won’t eve really trust you.

In a marriage, you have lots of little moments where you could say something sarcastic or choose to be kind. You have moments where you could be lazy or choose to do something (even a small thing) that serves your spouse. You could be pushy and want your way, or you could choose moments where you do what they want simply because you love them. It’s a lot of little moments that create a good environment in a marriage: going on a car ride together, having inside jokes, laughing at something silly that happened. Individually, none of those are moments you’ll probably look back a year, 5 years, 30 years in the future as being really consequential. And so it goes with a lot of the moments where we can be leaders. Being a leader isn’t just about what you do in the “battle,” in the huge moment because you don’t get a ton of those moments. What you do get are a thousand little moments.

What are you doing with your moments?

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Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.

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