Although stated in various ways, Mark Twain provided a powerful thought when he said, “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”
Leaders influence small and large groups of people. Their influence is measured by the level of honesty perceived.
When leaders are seen as dishonest, people will not follow.
When leaders are seen as honest, the opposite is true.
Even when it might seem easier to bend the truth, honesty is always the best policy.
The result of this practice has lasting repercussions on our leadership.
For years, an idea expressed by Mark Twain was the signature line for several emails I received, “Great things can happen if we don’t care who gets the credit.”
Based on Twain’s statement, John Maxwell suggested another level that emphasizes how great things can and actually do happen when we give others the credit.
While both sentiments indicate a powerful thought, we all know the challenge of applying them to our leadership. Perhaps it is our lack of self-esteem on one hand, or the ego-centric problem on the other, but we seem driven to receive the credit.
When the project is completed, we relish in our pride that it was our plan, suggestion, or leadership that made it possible.
We know from a biblical perspective that spiritual leadership will not allow a self-centered attitude to exist. Instead, scripture repeatedly indicates that we seek after the needs or well-being of others.
Jesus provided this example for us and He desires we pursue the same direction. The result might just develop what Simon Sinek refers to as a “Circle of Safety.”