Everyone needs some help with something. Some people need money; others need wisdom; still others just need a chance. You know what I mean, because right now if you were to take the time and consider the question you could probably produce a list of things you could use some help with.
I also remind you that the help you so often need resides in some person you already know. Putting it another way: you have some gift, some talent, some ability, some provision that can help someone else. That’s the beautiful thing about this world and the way it was created is that within our collective grasp are the tools to help one another in many meaningful ways.
The hard part is taking the time to notice the people around us; perhaps harder still is becoming aware of what it is that others may be struggling with. Because we are each caught up in our own struggles and needs, hoping that someone will see our struggle and come along and offer us help we often miss the opportunity to make a profound difference in someone else’s life.
Leaders must lead by serving. Indeed to serve we need to offer our aid, provisions and abilities to help people. There are stereotypes of leaders that paint them as people who stand at arms length, watching, making judgments etc, but the reality is true leadership means getting in the fray with the people we are leading. I have often found on a basketball court how advantageous it is to demonstrate a play to those I am coaching versus just telling them how to do it. The same must be true of leaders in the workplace, church and home.
As you are helping though, let me give you a few reminders.
First, helping a person needs to actually be a help. If someone is hungry they probably aren’t looking for ride across town. If someone is thirsty they aren’t hoping you will give them some advice, and if someone in your organization needs help they don’t necessarily want a policy. Make sure that the help you offer meets an actual need and that they are desirous of your help.
Next, to truly help others we need to be in relationship with them. We need to listen to them. As a result of conversation, give and take, and truly living life with those you are leading your helping can become truly helpful. A relationship will create a rewarding atmosphere for reciprocal help and the joys that come with camaraderie are an amazing help to the soul!
Last, don’t try to be their “savior”. Don’t try and ride in on the white stallion and earn a badge for yourself because of your heroism. Help them practically and tangibly but also inconspicuously. Furthermore, if you can’t really offer them the help they need, step back and get out of the way offering moral support and connecting them with someone who can offer the help that they need.
What would your leadership and your organization look like if the question of each day was “Who can I help today”?