I met Tony Steward at a conference we both participated in as presenters, and since then I have been following his blog. A couple weeks ago he put up a post that got my attention and just simply won’t leave my consciousness, so I thought I’d introduce you to the concept.
The title of the blog was, “No Honor, No Faith: A Young Leader’s Mourning.” Here are the first two paragraphs of this stellar post:
“I’ve treated my leaders as ordinary. I’ve thought I knew better and complained about it to others. In my past I’ve been agreeable to a leader’s face and then discounted them with others. I’ve rolled my eyes when others honor my leader. I’ve seen others who honor my leader on the same team as ‘koolaide’ drinkers and extended the dishonor to them.
For the past ten years, as a young leader, I’ve often done everything but really lead. This lack of faith, probably is in all sorts of things, but mostly is in God’s vision for me in the long term. And because of that lack of faith, and the obvious end of my ability, its easiest to lash out at the biggest target – often the leader over me.”
As I read this post by Tony, it reminded me of myself. Yes, I have been guilty of exactly what Tony is confessing. I wish I’d known. I wish that all of my youthful zeal and understanding could have been informed by the wisdom of this post, that I would honor the leaders ahead of me, above me; not always because I thought they knew more than I did, or even that they were wise, but because it was the right thing to do.
Beware of the attitude that says, “I am justified in my disrespect – even in my betrayal – of a senior leader just because I think I know better, or I am smarter, or even more virtuous.”
Here is the point. It will come back to haunt you. All of us have been betrayed by young people that we’ve brought around us to help us succeed: people we believed in, even people that we wanted to promote. But somehow, through the flattery of others, or just the unwillingness to wait and earn their place of leadership, they use your platform to promote their agenda to get ahead; not to earn their way ahead, but to bully their way ahead with their smiles and their back-stabbing ways.
Before you dismiss this as a post by someone who is bitter, think again. I understand how the world works. I even sometimes understand how God works, in mysterious ways. All of this is just simply a warning. Honor those in leadership. Respect them. If you can’t, then get out. Go do your own thing, on your own terms; not by hijacking, or splitting, or causing dissent in the one you’re in now.
If you’d like to read the whole post, click on this link to Tony’s web site and enjoy.