“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the
greatness is already there.” — John Buchan, 1875-1940, author and statesman
Insecurity and pride are the two dysfunction poles to which all leaders are vulnerable.
An accurate view of ourselves is essential, and perhaps even more essential is a
positive, empowering view of those we lead. As the above quote suggests, every
person has the God-given capacity for greatness. One wise proverb says: “A man’s
heart is deep water, and a man of understanding draws it out.” Do you see the
potential in every person you lead? What are you doing to draw out their best?
We must “count others as better than ourselves.” Then as humble, caring leaders
we can model the behaviors and attitudes we want to help develop in those we lead.
I sometimes find myself thinking negatively about the human race as a whole. I
admit this is easy to do when people seem callous, selfish, and even downright evil.
Despite the depravity of Man (how mean and vile people can be), each human on
the planet was created in the image of God. Therefore, every person has inherent
worth far beyond what we initially perceive. I am learning to esteem others as
amazing creations that have within them the capacity for greatness – no matter how
far short they may have fallen.
When we look for greatness in others, we send the message that they are better
than any negative self-image they carry from their past. And we can invite them out
of any self-defeating or self-deprecating ‘script’ they currently feel compelled to
Believing in someone and seeing their un-actualized potential is a transformative act.
Tell people you believe in them and describe their amazing future selves as if they
already exist. You will be opening a door that may not have existed previously. Call
out greatness in others by seeing beyond their self-imposed limitations.
We have all been created to reflect God’s glory. If you do not believe that, allow me
to challenge you to see the image of God within. We are God’s workmanship
created for greatness no matter what our circumstances or station in life. Step up
and offer a leg up to someone by esteeming them and validating their true inner