Joy is the missing link in the lives of many leaders. For too long they have been trying to pay their “dos” with emotional credit cards that have reached their limit. To give oneself for the benefit of another out of pure joy is a rarity.
Great leaders find a way to make deposits in their emotional bank. They have a reserve account of joy. Isn’t joy the true calling of every New Testament-style leader? Consider these Scripture verses.
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:24).
“The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52).
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).
“In my prayer for all of you, I always pray with joy” (Phil. 1:4).
What’s the secret to maintaining joy? Try these tips.
Give More Than You Get. Don’t allow a “what about me” attitude to invade your thinking. Consider yourself a giver, someone who adds value to others. Look to contribute more than you receive.
Keep Your Heart Hot. When you keep a woodstove hot, not much soot builds up in the chimney. When your heart is hot, there’s very little room for pride, envy, jealousy and other joy-killers. Keep the phone lines to heaven burning with your prayers. Let the fire of the Holy Spirit burn within you.
Narrow Your Focus. The most frustrated leaders are usually those who attempt too much. In case you haven’t heard, you cannot be all things to all people. Trim your portfolio down to the essentials. Major on your strengths and delegate the tasks at which you are weakest. You’ll enjoy your work a lot more.
Give Joy Away. Joy is a boomerang. When you give it away, it always comes right back. Give away all the joy you can, and your cup will soon overflow. Praise the achievements of teammates. Be quick to offer a smile and a kind word. Become a person who makes others feel good about themselves, and they will return the favor.
When a leader does not enjoy his or her role, the entire organization works under a cloud. Your emotional well-being is critical for the success of your mission. Put the missing link back into your leadership. Recapture joy.
– Stan Toler