Throughout this semester as we read case studies, explored the idea of authentic leadership, and discussed topics such as school culture, bias, transformational leadership, and ethics, there appeared to be a common thread through it all. It always seemed to come back to one foundational concept of a good, effective leader that worked to cement everything else together: love.
Love puts everything into perspective, especially when it is interpreted through the lenses of Scripture. Because of God’s unconditional love for us and the value each person is given by their Creator, we respond in love and hold others higher than ourselves. Love is a condition of the heart, and out of the overflow of our hearts come actions, words, and thoughts. We see situations through multiple perspectives and through the eyes of others. Love — or the lack thereof — ultimately guides our choices as a leader.
The video above shows a man loving people as an overflow of his heart and not as an act that his faith or society requires of him. He reaps the true joy in treating people with value and making decisions that show compassion. And in this case, we also see the fruit of those decisions.
Love is a thread that holds leadership together. In closing, here is what Paul in a letter to the Corinthians had to share about love and what truly matters:
I may speak in different languages, whether human or even of angels. But if I don’t have love, I am only a noisy bell or a ringing cymbal. I may have the gift of prophecy, I may understand all secrets and know everything there is to know, and I may have faith so great that I can move mountains. But even with all this, if I don’t have love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have to help others, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing by doing all this if I don’t have love.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth. Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits.
Love will never end. (I Corinthians 13:1-8, ERV)