Might Good Leadership Involve Reminding People of Jesus Christ, and Who Jesus Is?

Having been reading about the authoritative and authentic significance of the words ‘good’ and ‘goodness’, I write hoping that this may enable those in positions of leadership to become truly good leaders.

We so need leaders who display and exemplify strength and courage and care and compassion, without any sense of bullying. I hear of bullying in the workplace and in schools and colleges – and in fact in most areas of life.

Good leaders should be able to remedy this almost immediately, but they themselves have to have their own lives in order – and that is perhaps where the difficulty lies.

We even speak about the ‘good Samaritan’. Jesus Christ never did. Jesus simply speaks about a Samaritan.

Jesus never described people as being good. Does that surprise or even shock you?

So – what is the fruit of goodness which the Holy Spirit desires to grow within us? Sometimes we have to describe things by what they are not.

You will find the fruit of the Spirit of God listed in Galatians Chapter 5 and verses 22 and 23. Take time to read them and ask God to help you grow these qualities and characteristics and put them into practice in your every day lives. It is not easy!

In I Corinthians 13 Paul describes LOVE in seven negative ways and then in seven positive ways.

Would you like to be regarded as a loving leader and a leader who cared and showed compassion and understanding, and who did so with a degree of purity and integrity?

The words ‘good’ and ‘goodness’ are used so freely that we have to be clear on what they do not mean.

I’ve heard people speak about those who are good living – and we have to ask – what do people mean by that? It is never used in the Bible.

What is your definition? Describe it.

We are told – that in some circles – a man is described as ‘good living’ if he doesn’t get into trouble – if he keeps out of the hands of the police. Do you realise, that would exclude Jesus?

That would also exclude Peter – and John and James and Paul and Silas.

You might want to be excluded from that Fellowship. I don’t!

So – what does it mean? Because that description is completely meaningless and without any value in the eyes of God.

Goodness is a quality which God Himself grows in the life of the disciple.

It is a quality which God Himself plants in the inner parts of a person, and it is grown in the life that is surrendered to Jesus Christ, and where the Holy Spirit reigns and rules.

It is nothing to boast about, because it is totally the work of the God of Love and Grace and Mercy and Peace.

It is like kindness, in as much as it is an attitude. It is non-verbal. You don’t hear people speak about it. You feel it flowing in certain situations.

You sense it flowing in times of prayer. You cannot describe it. It is like when someone comes up to you and says – “You are different – you have changed.”

Peter experienced that. Paul experienced that. These men were changed.

Think of these lines in that great song of the Church of Jesus Christ – “Courage brother do not stumble. Some will hate thee – some will love thee – some will flatter – some will slight!” Why do these things happen?

Goodness has been described as, “The impression a Christian makes as he moves on his way, blissfully unaware that he is reminding people of Jesus Christ.”

Perhaps we can go no nearer the definition of this supernatural goodness that – “reminding people of Jesus Christ”.

Something grows in you and then flows from you that reminds people of Jesus Christ, and they may even be convicted of their sin.

Oh, for more leaders and people in places of leadership and responsibility, who act and serve and lead and live like that!

“Gracious and loving God, help me to die to selfishness and self-centredness and putting myself first. Help me to be kind of leader You want me to be and to lead with compassion and authority and integrity, just as Jesus Christ did.”

Debilitating Aftereffects of a Toxic Work Environment

Schools are generally considered as the playground of bullies. However, bullying is not just limited to school-going children, but is also witnessed during their adulthood. Any kind of bullying, ranging from verbal comments to negative physical contact, has the potential to turn workplace environment toxic.

The entire concept of exercising one’s supremacy over the other person by repeatedly indulging in offending and intimidating behaviors is quite common in workplaces. Despite the preponderance of such negative behaviors, the relationship between workplace bullying and mental health has remained one of the least discussed topics among employers, employees and medical practitioners.

An earlier study consisting of a 52-item health checklist for estimating the impact of negative workforce environment and workplace bullying on an individual’s physical and mental health had the following observations:

  • Anxiety was a common psychological problem, with 80 percent respondents reporting it.
  • 52 percent of those bullied suffered from panic attacks.
  • Agoraphobia was reported by 17 percent of respondents.
  • 49 percent reported clinical depression.
  • 30 percent of targets of bullying suffered from PTSD and 19 percent had an acute stress disorder.
  • 50 percent experienced intrusive thoughts and 14 percent witnessed dissociation.
  • Physical symptoms most commonly seen were migraine headaches (48 percent), irritable bowel disorder (37 percent), chronic fatigue syndrome (33 percent) and sexual dysfunction (27 percent).
  • While 29 percent had contemplated suicide, 16 percent had gone to the extent of actually planning the suicide.
  • A significant majority ranging up to 74 percent of those bullied felt betrayed by their co-workers and a 63 percent had lost faith in institutions.

Fortunately, of the 516 respondents, nearly 71 percent took the recourse to medical help and 63 percent actually sought the assistance of a mental health professional for their work-related woes.

Nefarious ways of bullying

It is generally seen that children with sociopathic personalities grow into bullies as adults. As most manage to develop the veneer of an understanding adult, it takes time before their true personalities are understood. Whether as a supervisor, a co-worker or a manager, bullies make use of the apparent weaknesses of their victims. Most of their attacks intend at dissembling the core identity of the victims, which can be rebuilt only through a sustained therapy. Some examples of bullying include.

  • Verbal assaults
  • Physical assaults
  • Harming one’s reputation
  • Spreading rumors
  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Disparaging remarks about one’s gender
  • Belittling one’s work
  • Criticizing even when it is not due
  • Displaying behaviors that are toxic
  • Refusing to acknowledge the good work done by the person
  • Constantly berating and shouting at someone in public
  • Threatening someone about job losses, especially in the current times when unemployment is at an all-time high

Rebuilding faith

The best way to deal with workplace bullying is to seek help at the earliest. One can deal with workplace bullying by either informing the manager or the human resources (HR) department, or seeking a lateral transfer to avoid the negativity.

Also, in case the damage seems more psychological in nature and inflicts a range of repercussions, such as sleeping problems, anxiety, panic attacks, etc., it is better to seek professional help. For example, in the case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), one requires sustained counseling by a trauma specialist. Trauma specialists help in building desensitization skills, which are of considerable importance since the victims of workplace bullying who have had a serious traumatic experience have a greater chance of experiencing remission.

According to Judith Orloff, M.D. and author of “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life,” the best means for tackling toxicity and negativity at the workplace is by strengthening relationship with co-workers who are not bullies. Dr. Orloff has also advocated meditation as a means for countering the aftereffects, such as shame, that arise when one is unable to counter the aggressor in a suitable way.

Sometimes, it is also helpful to keep a journal or a listing of all the discourses that one may have with a bully. Most bullies are good at manipulating situation and therefore keeping a journal is advisable, especially if one has to counter their lies and manipulations. She further elucidates, “Fear is the biggest energy thief there is. A master seducer and gigantic source of negative energy, fear shamelessly robs of us of everything good and powerful, preys on our vulnerabilities.”

Road to recovery

Certain traumatic incidents could push one to the verge of a breakdown requiring a sustained inpatient treatment. Whether it is PTSD or anxiety disorder, the crippling effects of these conditions can be alleviated by adequate support and compassion of loved ones. Besides the support of family and friends, a synthesis of neuroscience, intuitive medicine, counseling, treatment programs, etc. offers the opportunity to realize one’s emotional freedom and come to terms with life.