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The Pandemic Brings Out the Best or Worst in Leaders

The Pandemic Brings Out the Best or Worst in Leaders

Posted by Kenny Vaughan on 17th May 2020

Excerpts from “The Right Fight: How to Live a Loving Life” by John Kennedy Vaughan

“I’ve observed that before people will follow you, they will need to believe three things about you.

“First, they need to believe that you have some knowledge of where you are going. Second, they need to know you won’t sacrifice them for the mission. Finally, they need to believe you won’t sacrifice them for yourself. Note that I am not talking about a boss.

“The boss is the opposite of a leader. A boss drives people, but a leader serves people. A boss pushes and intimidates from the rear, and a leader serves and encourages from the front. A boss values self and profits above all, but a leader values the truth above all. The very nature of leadership requires that people trust you enough to follow you. People serve a boss only out of fear or necessity. A true leader understands the fundamental principles of love—that in order for any mission to be accomplished, some sacrifice is required.

“That sacrifice may be hard work, time, humility, or service. A true leader in a home or office, on an athletic field, or anywhere else will protect others by sacrificing themselves, and they will honor the truth.

“Bossy people in a home, office, on an athletic field, or anywhere else will function with the same fundamental principles—turned outside in. They will protect themselves by sacrificing their family members, coworkers, and teammates because they are afraid. They are blind to the truth. A boss fails to realize that he or she can never boss out of others what others will freely and willingly give the organization when they know they are loved.

“Giving to get is not loving; it’s manipulation. People can usually recognize manipulation. A boss is better off just bossing than attempting to love us to get what they want. The only thing worse than using or manipulating people is using or manipulating people with love, or, you could say, with God, because God is love.

“In an organization where leadership is afraid, the organization will project strength instead of humility and stop listening to and searching for truth. It will push the responsibility of dealing with the backlash of fear and poor decisions down to the bottom of the chain of command. The CEO, a boss that rules by fear, decides to protect the store at the expense of the customer. This decision is pushed down to the regional manager, store manager, and register worker. So, the store eventually protects itself right out of business, just like a person protects himself or herself into a fruitless life.

“Managers in businesses either boss, working from a place of fear, or lead from a place of love. Those are the only two options. If [a boss’s] decision will gain [him of her] an immediate result with a long-term cost, it’s most likely a fearful decision. If the decision will cost you immediately but provide long-term results, your decision is most likely loving.

“Love sees life inside out, and fear sees life outside in. Love sees business from the bottom up, and fear sees business from the top down.”

Businesses, their leaders and employees are being challenged to the maximum during the COVID-19 Pandemic. With closings and layoffs, businesses face financial challenges like never before. Many bosses must choose between the business and the bottom line and paying and keeping their employees.

These are hard choices so many are being forced to make today. Business leaders are struggling and employees are struggling…we are all struggling.

There’s always a way to show others they are more to us than what they can do for us.

Now, more than ever, it’s a time to live and lead from the inside out and love from the inside out because, in every circumstance…love never fails.

I wrote these words a few years ago, never imagining how relevant they would be today.

Laus Deo,