A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way

There is a side of leadership where it is not enough to know the way, but you also have to go the way and show the way for others to listen and learn from you. That is especially true for those living in nations struggling with poverty, depression and discouragement.

A leader shows the wayI live in Hungary. On an almost daily basis I speak with people who earn something similar to 2,5 USD per hour. That is not much in a nation where a McDonalds menu cost 6 USD. As a leader you try to help people and come with good advices on how they can get things going around, but it often feels hard, almost impossible. It is not a coincidence that it is among poor and troubled people you often find those trying everything, just to find a way out. The problem is just that they are often tricked into situations where they spend money to try something, only to find out later that it didn’t work, and there they stand left behind, even poorer.

An example from the Bible

In Exodus chapter 6 God is telling Moses about his great plan to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. As Moses stands before his people sharing the message from God the response is not what one would expect.

Discouragement leads to inactivity
So Moses told the people of Israel what the LORD had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery. (Exodus 6:9)

Moses had spoken to Pharaoh and the Israelites earlier in Exodus. After speaking to Pharaoh the first time the work of the Israelites turned even harder (it seemed to do exactly the opposite of what it was supposed to). As Moses returns none is listening anymore. They had enough to deal with just doing the work Pharaoh had commanded them to do.

People who are discouraged and bitter, who work day in and out often face the same problem. They wouldn’t recognize a piece of gold, even if it showed up in front of them. They only see what they are doing and that they are worn out. Such a person is nearly impossible to lead, because they don’t see the leader and they won’t listen to the leader, at least not at first.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way

The world is in need of people who not only know the way, but who have walked it, who can show it, and let me add, who will bring others with them on the way. Do you have a great idea or an amazing business plan? Do not try to give on the idea to someone bitter and discouraged and tell them to do it. You need to start it yourself and bring other people with you on the way.

I discussed the subject of blogging with some Hungarians lately and they told me that you can not expect a person who do not have food on the table to have energy and inspiration to write a blog, which is kind of what the Maslow-pyramid principle is about. I see it from a different way, but that might be because I do not have a struggle to get food on my table, buy clothes to wear and heat up the flat in which I live.

The principle about showing the way probably goes for blogging as well. It is not enough to tell people that they should do it, but the leader walks the way, shows and takes people with him on the way. How can this be done exactly? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

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