The Profound Interconnection
This proverb popped up as the verse of the day in my bible app not long ago and it me took off guard completely: Proverbs 29: 4; “by justice a king gives stability to the land, but one who exacts gifts ruins it.” I was taken aback by its simplicity, truth and its matter of fact tone. And looking back on my professional life the last couple of years and at those leaders that had a direct and profound impact on my learning and development, it finally hit me like a sledgehammer across anything meant to be mended or broken: There is a deep interconnection between stability and leadership. And if anything, there are synonymous.
A great leader labors for stability and growth and in fact, the former is the catalyst for the latter; it is the launching pad for development and eventual results and excellence.
The verse from proverbs says, by “justice a king gives stability.”; if I am understanding correctly, scripture says, a king or leader whatever the circumstance, works for stability because it is the right thing to do, it’s put into place in the interest of fairness for all related and involved parties, for the sake of integrity, human dignity and righteousness.
Of course, this begs the question, what constitutes constancy and steadfastness? How does it benefit all those who are subject to their virtuous and generative natures?
Composure is the Captain
We can go on forever about the picture perfect illustration of the ideal, consistent leader. For the sake of brevity and in my humblest opinion, I believe 2 major aspects of stability are composure and the desire to teach.
First and foremost and just as a side note, the best leaders I’ve had the privilege to work with are far from perfect and they gladly admit it. Therefore, add humility to the mix as well, although that is a topic all on its own and deserves a separate article in order to give it the great respect it deserves.
The people in question are not the smartest, fastest, most out spoken or blatantly assertive in the outward sense; the asterisk next to their names and legacy is warranted because they first of all, face adversity, pressure and stress with a grain of salt; they are cool, calm, and collective-always or at least in front of you: They exude emotional stability.
They could be overloaded with deadlines, follow-ups, calls from higher-ups demanding answers or results, disgruntled stakeholders and employees and/or their own personal or health issues; and you would never know. You could walk into their office at their most vulnerable point in the day; when stuff has reached its climax in terms of madness and intensity.
What you won’t get is a transfer of their rage, stress and anxiety unto your shoulders; they will do whatever it takes not to add to your concerns.
They exemplify rock solid stability. Their focus is not their stuff but yours. They transcend the pressures of the day to focus on you and you only. They welcome your challenges and help you tackle them head on; if not immediately within a reasonable amount of time.
The Sheppard is Among the Sheep
Excellent leaders find time to teach you, no matter how much poop is dripping from their fan.
Ever work with and for a manager or team leader who seems overly busy and simply can’t find the time to train you; and outright tells you they don’t have the time and delegates every aspect of your training and development to someone else?
Delegating is essential when it comes to leadership; you can’t steer the massive ship of accountability on your own; we all know it’s impossible.
However, stability also expresses itself in active presence. If those at the head of the food chain don’t take the time to show up and edify their team on some level and frequently enough, you run the risk of looking like you don’t have your stuff together; and/or you don’t seem interested in investing your time, care, attention into the blossoming of your human capital whether that is true or not.
It says that the sheppard does not really love, care and tend to the needs of their sheep no matter how hard they may be working in the background.
The sheppard is always among the sheep even if he/she needs and works in conjunction with hired helpers.
Truth: Intentional or unintentional apathy kills team spirit and erodes trust in leadership. This is a red flag for employees, stakeholders and team members; it’s suspect and slowly but surely or immediately exposes a lack of stability.
People won’t care about their work if they don’t feel like their bosses or leaders care about what should be the latter’s primary work: the wellness of the team-the stability of the team.
This can easily topple anything good and holy.
The Don Bosco Way
Catholic saint St. John Bosco’ educative philosophy focused emphatically on the “heart of the educator,” the dignity of the teacher and their deep seated yearning to bring out the very best in every student-on a intellectual, emotional and spiritual level for the sake and in the endeavor to foster the cultivation of upright Christians; Christians who then can serve their communities in the same spirit and with the same intentions.
The example of the rock solid leader in question may or may not work towards or acquire saintliness in hopes of “saving the world:” by the same token, every step taken in providing an environment where stress, fear and anxiety are diffused and sapped by courage and positivity and driven by the commitment to serve and teach others, is one headed in the right and holy direction.
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