We were coming back from a countryside school where there was a new principal. Just a couple of days earlier, at another school, my colleague found that their principal was new too. The second one confirmed that this was the same for a lot of schools in the county. Sitting beside me on the bus was someone who works in one of the townships, and has been moved around to different ones and in different leadership positions. Questioning him about that, he replied, "There are some things that are just hard to do, so you need to change often." For his positions two years is about how long he is one place. I still thought it strange. Wouldn't you be able to lead better once you were there longer and understood the local situation better? He finally spelled it out real clearly: "When you're in a place and people know your weaknesses, then they don't listen to you." Ah...so that's it.
I've been doing a lot of reading in Colossians lately--"the kingdom of the Son He loves" jumped out at me. I've been pondering this King, and what His leadership in His kingdom looks like--primarily from how those 3 years with His followers looked. He did not 'lord it over' others. He was completely authentic. He was so patient with His slow to learn followers. He won them over by who He was.
Today we had a meeting in our office. One hour of the time was devoted to each one (three of us) bringing up ideas from "Transform Your Workplace," that we could see could be applied or done better in our work situation. Ouch, some of it was hard, as some of MY 'weaknesses' came to light. I still don't know what to do in response to some. Gee, life would sure be easier if those I lead didn't know me so well. Maybe it's time for a switch of positions. Nah. I must choose another way, a way that requires more of me. How I need King Jesus to teach me humility. I need to listen for the truth in what was said, and change and grow where needed. Are there things that the other doesn't quite understand of the other side of the picture? Maybe, but I need to be careful not to 'spin' in my favour.