What brings a leader joy?
Success? Achievement? Recognition? Advancement?
The typical leader finds joy in receiving more, doing more, and becoming more.
Most leaders find joy in the acclaim of others. Happiness is the result of doing big things, in significant ways, for big recognition.
Many leaders find joy in doing more and more. Others find joy in becoming seen as more influential, rising higher on the organizational chart, or climbing the corporate ladder.
I too have wrestled with finding my joy in these things. But, we see in John the Baptist another means to happiness. It is less about being a powerful, acclaimed, and influential leader as it is about being a faithful friend.
“The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.” ~ John 3:29-30
The friend desires no credit.
The friend wishes no acclaim.
The friend does not claim to be what he or she is not.
The friend seeks joy in a different way, a way untypical for many leaders in our world.
The friend stands close by
The friend listens.
The friend rejoices in the success, influence, and acclaim of the other.
The friend finds his or her joy in the success, recognition, and power of their leadership, but in that of another.
The friend is near—standing by and standing behind, doing the necessary work to support the leadership of the other.
They hear—listening for direction. The friend understands the direction given, listening with obedient ears.
The friend cheers not their success, but the success of the other, seeing their success in the accomplishment of the mission and vision of the other.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
This is the road to joy as a leader.