What Keeps Us from Serving Others? (4)

What Keeps Us from Serving Others? (4)

“Through love serve one another.”                                                       Gal 5:13 NKJV

Control. While it’s important to focus on understanding others, you must also be authentic and open so that they can understand you. Because it can make us feel vulnerable, many of us are unwilling to be transparent. Author and former U.S. Navy Captain Mike Abrashoff observes: “Some leaders feel that by keeping people in the dark, they maintain a measure of control. But that is a leader’s folly and an organization’s failure. Secrecy spawns isolation, not success. Knowledge is power, yes, but what leaders need is collective power, and that requires collective knowledge. I found that the more people knew what the goals were, the better buy-in I got—and the better the results we achieved together.” Any time people sense information is being withheld from them, it creates distance. They feel like outsiders, and as a result morale drops along with their performance. In his book Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way, Jim Lundy writes about what he calls the “Subordinates’ Lament.” It says, “We the uninformed, working for the inaccessible, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful!” Ever feel like that? Then there’s the “Mushroom Farm Lament” which goes like this: “We feel we’re being kept in the dark. Every once in a while someone comes around and spreads manure on us. But when our heads pop up, they’re chopped off. And then we’re canned.” Good leaders don’t isolate themselves, and they don’t deliberately keep people in the dark. They inform them, and include them in the decision-making process whenever possible. If you’re serious about serving others, open up. Let people know who you are and what you believe.

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