The following are concrete actions that demonstrate Grace and Love in the workplace (taken from a blog post untitled 'Leadership of Love'). May it inspire me to show Grace in the workplace.

  • Listening
  • Asking questions
  • Allocating
  • Feed forward (not feedback)
  • Sharing information
  • Being transparent
  • Prizing - finding what's right first, then suggesting what can be improved
  • Reframing challenges as learning opportunities
  • Supporting others
  • Using humor in a positive way
  • Mentoring
  • Engaging others opinions
  • Communicating in a clear and caring way
  • Taking accountability
  • Encouraging top down innovation 
  • Investing in growing others
  • Celebrating wins together
  • Cheering on personal growth
  • Setting clear boundaries
  • Presenting challenges
  • Encouraging self care

Grace. It's in the actions in the workplace.
 
 
Nehemiah was an example of using Grace and Truth in the leadership position God had put him in. Nehemiah knew that to be a good leader you had to have clean hands and a pure heart. The basic quality for leadership is the same as the basic quality for success in a person's life. And that is to be true to one's belief and values. 

So what made Nehemiah so special ?
  • Nehemiah had a sense of calling. 
  • Nehemiah patiently waited for the right timing. 
  • Nehemiah established reasonable and attainable goals. You know one of the reasons why leadership fails is 1) they have no goals whatsoever or 2) they establish goals that are not reasonable, measurable or attainable. 
  • Nehemiah made prayer and recollection a priority in his life. 
  • Nehemiah rearranged his priorities in order to accomplish his goals. 
  • Nehemiah acted decisively when it was time for him to act. 
  • Nehemiah took time to rest, to plan, to pray, to think. 
  • Nehemiah became personally acquainted with his task. 
  • Nehemiah made shrewd use of his time. 
  • Nehemiah surrounded himself with trusted allies. 
  • Nehemiah provided vision for the people. 
  • Nehemiah involved a broad-based work team in the work. 
  • Nehemiah never wavered in the face of opposition. 
  • Nehemiah executed a plan to accomplish his goal. 
  • Nehemiah didn't hesitate to take emergency action when emergency action was necessary. 
  • Nehemiah was very visible and approachable. 
  • Nehemiah managed his resources very well. 
  • Nehemiah verbalized his dependence on other's help, and he did it again and again. 
  • Nehemiah was not afraid to get his hands dirty. 
  • Nehemiah took care of his people financially. 
  • Nehemiah personally sacrificed to accomplish his goal. 
  • Nehemiah refused to live above his people. 
  • Nehemiah didn't hesitate to discipline inappropriate behavior. 
  • Nehemiah had a great view of the value of his own work. 
  • Nehemiah exuded integrity before everyone. 
  • Nehemiah showed discernment in dealing with people. 
  • Nehemiah didn't hesitate to attribute his success to others.
  • Nehemiah kept his promises. 
Whether you believe in the veracity of the Good Book or not is besides the point. The example given here of someone who wisely persevered against all odds, with great Grace, is worth a moment of reflexion.
 
 
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

The 'Grace and Christ' series focuses on the aspects of His ministry on Earth and how it demonstrated Grace.


One leadership book which has had a profound influence on me was 'The Way of the Shepherd' by Kevin Leman. It describes how to be a leader by drawing parallels to keeping a flock of sheep - and it draws from Christ's graceful example. I know, it doesn't sound like there are parallels to make... but read on. Here are the principles from the book and the studied life of Christ as the Shepherd. I think what really gets to me is that Christ's Grace-based Shepherd Leadership promotes the notion that leaders are actually servants to their constituents. Now that's counter-intuitive...

Know the condition of your flock
- Follow the status of your people as well as the status of the work
- Get to know your flock, one sheep at a time
- Engage your people on a regular basis
- Keep your eyes and ears open, question and follow through

Discover the shape of your sheep
- Your choice of sheep can make flock management easier of harder
- Start with healthy sheep, or you'll inherit someone else's problem
- Know the SHAPE of your sheep to make sure they're in the right fold
-- Strengths
-- Heart
-- Attitude
-- Personality
-- Experiences

Help your sheep identify with you
- Build trust with your followers by modeling authenticity, integrity, and compassion
- Set higher standards of performance
- Relentlessly communicate your values and sense of mission
- Define the cause for your people and tell them where they fit in
- Remember that great leadership isn't just professional; it's personal

Make your pasture a safe place
- Keep your people well informed
- Infuse every position with importance
- Cull chronic instigators from the flock
- Regularly rotate the sheep to fresh pasture
- Reassure the sheep by staying visible
- Don't give problems time to fester

The staff of direction
- Know where you're going, get out in front, and keep your flock on the move
- When directing, use persuasion rather than coercion
- Give your people freedom of movement, but make sure they know where the fence is. Don't confuse boundaries with bridles
When your people get in trouble, go and get them out
- Remind your people that failure isn't fatal

The rod of correction
- Protect: stand in the gap and fight for your sheep
- Correct: approach discipline as a teaching opportunity
- Inspect: regularly inquire about your people's progress

The heart of the shepherd
- Great leadership is a lifestyle, not a technique
- Every day you have to decide who's going to pay for your leadership - you or your people
- Most of all, have a heart for your sheep

May it bring out the graceful shepherd leader in us.
 

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