Saturday, December 3, 2011

Salt & Pepper

I read something tonight that only reinforced lessons that I have been learning for the past 17 years. It revolves around the analogy of salt & pepper (and I'm not talking about the increasing change in my hair color.)

A CEO was talking about the balance of leadership and power and that people tend to fall more deeply in love with the concept of power. She likened pepper to power-it is independently sharp, strong, and definitely has an impact on what it chooses to season. Salt however, is like leadership-it brings out the flavor in things, sharpens what is already there and brings enhancement. Both of them are necessary and shouldn't be separated, but pepper (in a management sense) should be used sparingly and wisely.

Power comes easily to a management role, but it is not always used well. History is littered with the remains of families, churches, corporations, and nations where power was abused. When it is combined with a legitimate concern for people and a desire to bring out the best in them, power actually doesn't have to be utilized very often. When you have a strong personality it takes more work to bring out the "salt" in who you are, but I have found (through much trial & error) that it is more rewarding for all of us if leadership is in the driver's seat.

I am still working through my own development as a leader (and will never stop until my last breath here.) I genuinely care for the people that I have had the opportunity to influence-even if my efforts didn't always reflect that. It is part of my continual life goal to be aware of the need to "season" appropriately and trust that God will work even through my mistakes.

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