The Every Day Leader: Behind the Scenes of the Unseen

“Being unseen is not the same as unimportant” (Lance Witt)

I am not mechanically inclined. I have kids that are, but for some reason my brain just does not think that way. I do however, get the importance of assembling ALL the pieces to something, no matter how small. I get that a light fixture can look terrific – but if there is faulty wiring it changes everything.

The things that are not seen, the small parts, the wiring….they are important, even essential.

Our lives are no different.

Not everyone will play a role in the limelight, or be a leader by position. And if they do, it may not be lasting. Our culture says that being someone important is what life is all about; it is having an important title or position. If you are important you usually have money and status. Society says your life means something when you have these things.

We are drawn to what is seen, not the unseen. We are drawn to those in the spotlight. We are a nation that loves to watch the Royals, celebrities, follow Trump and Warren Buffet, and even follow and seek out famous worship leaders.

We equate “being a somebody” as important. And equally so, if you are behind the scenes you are a “nobody” and somehow you are unimportant. Many of us buy into that thinking. We think that since we have not succeeded in life in the limelight then we are just not as important even though we have lived quietly behind the scenes. The “seen” becomes the people of value and those sought after and the “unseen” people we deem as having no value to give.

I think about my parents. They have lived a quiet life. They have worked hard, been involved in their church and community – behind the scenes. They have spent their lives loving others whenever possible. They did it without thinking. They did not care about the limelight or if they mattered in the eyes of others. They did not buy into our society’s view of success. Life was not about what you did, but who you are.  To them, life was about investing in others quietly, without grandeur and announcing it.

My parents are every day leaders. I look at their life and see a life without a huge amount of material possessions, yet they have lived a full and happy life. Lives that have invested in many others over the years – kids, grandkids, great grandkids, their kid’s friends, their friends, their neighborhood, and their community.  They all love and respect them. This is a testament to a life lived well, a life that did not need fame, title, position, or money to make a difference.

They got it.. little things matter. Those things which what you can’t see… THEY MATTER.

It is this principle they have modeled to me my whole life. It’s what every day leaders do. They influence the lives of the people that they come in contact with and those around them.

What is your life about? Are you caught up in being a somebody of importance? Do you think your life is meaningless if you don’t have a great job, money, position, or title?

It is the behind the scenes people who often have a tremendous impact on others. Life is not about them – they don’t care about position or being in the center. They live their life in such a way that the limelight doesn’t matter. They get that stuff: their job, money, and more – do not equal success and likewise, without it does not equal failure.

They are comfortable in their own skin, comfortable in how God made them and how they are wired and that makes them successful in everything they do.

Every day leaders influence – sometimes quietly. They love quietly. They invest in others without attention to what they are doing. They know that what is often unseen, matters.

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The Every Day Leader: Serve

Growing up on the farm, I saw serving as a way of life that was modeled before me every day. There were chores to be done, animals that needed caring for, and it took everyone in the family doing their part to make sure they were completed. We all had to take care of the garden, help with the canning and whatever else needed to be done.

Today, at age 79 and 82, my parents still model servant leadership. My mother still cooks and serves at the local soup kitchen, while my father makes the giveaways for the farm shows that reach out and build relationships with the local farmers.

Today we hear a lot about servant leadership, it seems to be the latest buzzword. It is a concept that people talk about as if it is something that we need to learn. While I am 100% for this concept, I am often amazed that we have to be taught this. As leaders this should be a natural outpouring of who we are. We should always be thinking of, caring for and loving others.

Serving SHOULD BE in our DNA as people.

The Everyday leader knows that serving comes from the heart.

It is the real deal.

We serve because we care.

We as every day leaders know the difference caring makes in the life of another. Every day leaders intentionally serve those around them; this is what sets us apart.

I am thankful for my parents who modeled servant leadership before it was the latest fad. I want my life to model this to those I have the privilege to influence.

The everyday leader is a servant leader. It is about being the one who is willing to intentionally serve others. It is having a servant attitude and making a difference in the lives of those around us.