When success occurs in your life, to whom do you give credit?
You? Your spouse? Do you give credit to your employees who did the work, customers who bought your products or services, shareholders who funded you, or others?
As a leadership couple, a husband and wife can remind each other that all credit for any success should be given to God.
Farmers have always understood this fact. God alone provides the sunshine and rain, and even pollination, which leads to a bountiful harvest.
It’s the same for any couple involved in a business. God alone provides the essential ingredients that lead to a profitable business.
But what about when bad things or challenging events occur?
Farmers experience damaging wind, hail, drought, floods, pests, and more. Likewise, all business owners experience various problems and issues – yes even disasters. Do we blame God for these things? Or do we recognize such occurrences are also permitted by God, possibly even for our benefit?
How a leader responds to both positive outcomes and challenging situations provides a window into their leadership potential.
Leadership Potential is Defined by Reverence
In the book Good to Great, best-selling author Jim Collins writes about Level 5 leaders (the highest level one can achieve):
“Level 5 leaders look out the window to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well….. At the same time, they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly.”
Collins’ assessment on leadership shows that humility is a critical component to becoming a great leader. I would argue it goes one step further to embracing the value of reverence.
Reverence means profound awe and respect.
For God-fearing leaders, all reverence is given to God.
When we show profound awe to the almighty God and his goodness, we’re demonstrating admiration and appreciation. Thankfulness is the key to winning God’s heart, the giver of all good things.
When we show respect for the decisions God makes in our lives, whether we like them or not, we’re demonstrating humbleness. And being teachable is the key to continually growing as a leader, experiencing fresh insights, and seeing new opportunities.
The combination of thankfulness and being teachable that is born out of reverence reveals our leadership potential.
3 Ways to Building Your Leadership Potential
As a leadership couple, here are 3 ways to embrace the value of reverence and build your leadership potential:
1) Daily devotional. Spend time alone in prayer, every day. Consider the many blessings you have received, the good and the bad that are shaping you for a future purpose. Give thanks and ask for help where it’s needed. And don’t forget to also pray with your spouse!
2) Remind each other. We all get a fat head at times, taking more credit for our own success than we should. Our spouse can be our best defense against false pride. In a gentle way, it’s good to be reminded where all credit really belongs – to God. It’s also good to remind each other that God will provide all the help when we need it. But don’t forget to ask! (Matthew 7:7-8)
3) Publicly acknowledge God’s goodness. Let everyone around you know that you give all glory to God for the good things in your life, and that you rely on Him for all your help. It reveals to others how both thankfulness and being teachable are foundational to your leadership journey.
What other ways can couples build their leadership potential?
How are you embracing the value of reverence in your marriage?