Serving leaders ask themselves hard questions about who they are becoming. As they gain clarity and direction about their focus, they also serve those they lead by encouraging them to walk the same journey of discovery. They desire that Paul’s instructions are helpful not only for their own lives but also for those they serve. “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NIV).
Serving leaders seek to call forth the best in those who follow. They desire the transformation indicated in this verse. And they are not afraid to ask probing questions that will guide others on their leadership journey. They recognize that asking questions rather than giving answers allows those they lead to grow and develop their own capacity to think and to reflect.
So They serve by asking those who follow, “Who are you becoming?” Where helpful they are willing to offer their own observations but are willing to simply lay the question before the person and allow them to reflect. Serving leaders acknowledge that this question is a deep question for one’s soul and not a means of doing a performance assessment! As they gently ask this question of those who follow, they examine their motives to ensure that their only desire is genuine care for the other person and a desire to see them grow. They refuse to ask this question as an underhanded way to address visible problems. They serve in love by respecting the level of openness the person offers in response. As they invite others to ponder this question, they ask it with several purposes in their mind.
Serving leaders ask “Who are you becoming?“ to reveal direction.
Where appropriate serving leaders may invite those who follow to reflect on their own growth journey by asking, “Are you becoming the spouse/parent/community leader/worker you want to become? Are there ways I can help you move in the direction you want to go? Are there any roadblocks I can remove from your path?” Serving leaders recognize that those who follow them are changing and moving either consciously or unconsciously. They raise the question to bring awareness to their followers of the direction in which they are moving. The question recognizes the uniqueness of each individual and is less concerned about the position on the journey than the direction of the journey.
Serving leaders ask “Who are you becoming?“ to redirect focus.
Serving leaders know their own tendency to lose the correct focus, so they can gently ask those who follow, “Who is influencing you the most? Where do you go for ideas and inspiration? Is this taking you in the direction you want to go?” The question serves as a reminder to the follower that focus is critical in determining direction.
Serving leaders ask “Who are you becoming?“ to release transformation.
The goal of the serving leader is to equip, empower and release the persons who follow. They desire the best for their lives, not only in the role in which they serve the organization but in their entire lives. They serve those who follow by helping them become the people that they were designed to be. So, they ask, “Who are you becoming?” to encourage them to experience the power of transformation in their own lives.
- Do I have enough love and concern for those I lead to ask them “Who are you becoming?” If not, what does this indicate about my heart and what do I need to change? If so, when will I begin to ask them this question?
- Before I ask anyone the question “Who are you becoming?” do I have any hidden motives about why I will ask them this question? Is my desire to help them genuine and does it go beyond my concern for their work performance?
- Am I willing to simply ask the question of others and not demand a response from them? Am I willing to offer my own observations only if requested by that person?
Until next time, yours on the journey,
In the next issue, we’ll look at a question serving leaders ask themselves: “What is in my hand?”