In September of last year, my daughter, Cathy, accepted the position of Preschool Director at Graceland Baptist Church in New Albany, IN. Fearing we would set up roadblocks, she kidnapped our three grandsons and fled for Indiana in the middle of the night. Eventually, to keep from being disinherited, she called and confessed, we forgave her, and thus began a seven month saga of new jobs for her and Sam (the husband and co-conspirator), a new school for the boys, selling a Tennessee house, buying an Indiana house, loading trucks, trailers, a POD, etc., then unloading them all. The unloading was finished last Saturday, and that brings me to Scott, the subject of this post.
Scott is Pastor Scott Miller, the lead pastor at Graceland and Cathy’s boss, except he’s not a boss, he’s a servant leader. There is lot about Scott’s leadership I don’t know, but there are three things—very important things—I have observed and he gets bright red bold check marks for all three.
√#1 It is never about him. In 2003, Jim Collins identified his list of the TOP TEN CEOS OF ALL TIME (in Fortune magazine). They were very different except in this one regard:
“Much depended on them, but it was never about them.”
Scott Miller is the pastor of a large church; much depends on him, but it is never about him.
√#2 He supports his staff. Whatever is going on, even a preschool sock hop, Pastor Scott shows up. Not to interfere, take charge or grab the spotlight, but to let his staff know that he cares about their stuff as much as he does his own. (Sunday morning is his prime time.)
√#3 Back to unloading trucks and trailers, when a group of men showed up on a rainy Saturday morning to help Cathy and Sam move in, Pastor Scott was there too. He always does what he asks other people to do. There are no jobs “beneath” him.
If you are a leader of any type or size of organization, follow Pastor Scott’s example:
You’ll be a much better leader because:
“…people buy into the leader before they buy into a mission statement.”
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner
Another great post and something for us all to remember as we lead and influence others.
Thanks, Tim. Leaders lead people: not machines, not buildings, not technologies, not theologies. The best leaders always remember this.
Dick, well written reminder – love the personal stories in the recent posts. As I think about my own experiences, the leaders who have mastered the first bullet (“make sure it’s not about you”) are the ones you would really lay it all on the line for…
The “it’s not about me” thing takes constant vigilence. It so easy to slip into it. That’s why it is so important to have someone who will “call you out.”