Dr. Jerry White shares an insightful story in his book Rules To Live By. A young lieutenant forgot to wear his tie with his dress uniform on the day he had to brief a general. Not having enough time to return home, he buttoned up his raincoat and wore it into the meeting. When the general asked him why he was wearing his raincoat, the young man admitted he’d forgotten to wear his tie. So, the general told him to take off his raincoat and then he asked everyone present for the meeting to remove their neckties.
Jerry White, Rules to Live By, Colorado Springs: NavPress, ©2010, ps 112,113
I can relate to that lieutenant because in similar fashion, I once forgot my plastic nameplate for a dress uniform. Fortunately, in my office I had a “Beat Navy” nameplate so I pinned it on my shirt. I got away with my mistake only because people thought it was funny (they were all in the army).
James 3:13--Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness.
I suspect there are many senior leaders who might not have exercised the kindness and cleverness of the general in Jerry’s story. He taught everyone in the room a lesson in how to put at ease a person in discomfort. Rather than take the easy road to criticism or sarcasm and flail away with a rod of correction, he chose the high ground and draped his flag in thoughtfulness.
Proverbs 13:20 says, “The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” There is much to learn that changes us for the better when we walk with wise people. Prudent people find ways to lift others up. Sage people choose to serve rather than lord over others. Perceptive leaders know that gentleness instills fierce loyalty whereas wrath infuses rebellion. How awesome it must have been to walk with Jesus for three years. It becomes clear how eleven men with all their weaknesses became world changers!
People long to follow a leader who is a person of integrity, authenticity, and compassion. That person will have the loyal following and trust of his people. —Dr. Kevin Leman and William Pentak in The Way Of The Shepherd
©2013 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)