The Incarnational Principle of Leadership

If you are going to be an effective leader, you must be able to enter into your followers’ world. In fact, if you are going to influence anyone for anything—whether it is your boss, your employees, a client, your spouse, or even your kids—you are going to have to get really good at incarnational leadership.

Couple Sitting On a Mountain Top After a Hike - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/stevecoleccs, Image #8171245

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/stevecoleccs

This leadership principle is based on the Christian teaching that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14a). Imagine that: God entered into our world in order to bring us back to Himself.

Similarly, when Jesus chose his disciples, he didn’t enroll them in a workshop. He didn’t ask them to read a stack of books. He didn’t even ask them to sit down and listen to him preach. Instead, “He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him” (Mark 3:14a, emphasis mine).

The Apostle Paul employed this same kind of incarnational leadership. He wrote to his followers:

But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.” (1 Thessalonians 2:7, 8, emphasis mine)

This leadership principle is very basic, but, sadly, one I forgot in one of my most important relationships.

Several weeks ago, I took my mentoring group on a retreat. In preparation, I had them ask their wives, “What bugs you about me? Specifically, what are the three things that cause you to be uncomfortable or irritated with me?” It is a powerful question, but one that is also potentially dangerous.

Consequently, I gave them four guidelines:

  1. Be sincere and listen.
  2. Don’t be defensive.
  3. Don’t make any promises.
  4. Take detailed notes.

As the leader of the group, I also had to do the exercise. However, since Gail and I had been married for thirty-two years, I was hoping she would have nothing substantive to share with me. Boy, was I wrong.

I first asked her the question about two weeks before the retreat. She didn’t respond, but promised to think about it. After a few days, I asked again. She said that still wasn’t sure. A few days later, I emailed her. Still, nothing.

I begin to think, Maybe I’m such a good husband that there’s just nothing I do to annoy her. I patted myself on the back and then, as a final effort, text-messaged her the day of the retreat. A few hours before I left the office for the retreat, she finally emailed me.

She shared three things that annoyed her about me:

  1. You tend to nag me. You ask for something to be done—like provide the answer to this exercise!—and then you keep asking if I’m done yet. You are important to me, but I have other items on my to-do list.
  2. Your recreational activities tend to be solo. You love to write, tinker with your blog, run, etc. But I can’t participate in any of these activities. In order for me to join you, I have to engage in a solo activity next to you. But this isn’t the same as being with you. It is unfulfilling to me because I don’t work or play like you do.
  3. You usually decide what we do together. Because I tend to be the more deliberate and you tend to be more decisive, your decisions usually win out. You beat me to the punch. As a result, I end up deferring to what you want to do. I feel that I am losing myself in the process. Sometimes I wish that you would just slow down and enter into my world, considering what I might want to do for a change.

Ouch. Here three points really hit home. It was a sober reminder that loving someone well—leading someone well—means entering into their world. Sadly, I had completely missed this with Gail. I had completely forgotten the incarnational principle of leadership.

Since that time, I have been deliberate about entering into her world and doing the things she enjoys. I still have a long way to go, but I am learning (I think).

During our vacation, for example, we spent time hiking. This is not something I ordinarily would have chosen, but it something that is important to Gail. The really interesting thing is that I have loved doing this with her. It has taken our relationship to another level.

I am so grateful that Gail had the courage to tell me the truth. Because of it, I am beginning to understand that incarnational leadership—entering into someone else’s world—is the first and most important aspect of leadership. It can make a huge difference: for your followers, for your relationship to them, and even for your own growth and development.

Question: Where do you need to enter into someone else’s world? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.deafmomworld.com Karen Putz

    I love how you learned something new about yourself after 32 years of marriage. I’m going to try this with my husband as well and see what I learn from him. Thank you for sharing!

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. I hope your experience is as positive as mine.

  • http://thatguykc.wordpress.com ThatGuyKC

    Wow. Thank you for being vulnerable and transparent in sharing what you need to work on as a husband.

    I’ve only been married a few years and am surprised how often I need a reality check like this with my wife. Sometimes I find myself thinking I’ve got this whole marriage thing all figured out and I must be an awesome husband. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) this is usually right about the time I realize I’ve fouled up or my wife brings a glaring flaw to my attention.

    Thank God for wives and God bless them.

  • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

    This is one article I didn’t know I needed to read and take to hear until I found and read it. Micheal, thank you very much for the kind reminder. Not only will it make me rethink our family situation and my relationship to the kids but it should also lead to more fulfilling relationships with my clients.

    I’m excited to see what this experiment holds for me.

  • http://fghart.wordpress.com FGHart

    Michael, this really resonates with me. I suspect the question you asked Gail is a Love Dare item (I’ve been spending time with a dear friend whose marriage is “rocky” right now). I’m thinking that my 25-year old marriage could benefit from this as well. What a powerful witness you’ve offered us this morning! Thank you for sharing.

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  • http://www.RyanHanley.com Ryan Hanley

    Michael,

    I’m very glad to hear you have made efforts to change the quality of your marriage from your wife’s prospective. We tend to make the biggest mistakes when we feel like we have something figured out and are comfortable.

    I have a saying in Golf that translates to the rest of my life: Semper Advancing. In golf my buddies and i joke, as long as the ball is moving forward your doing OK.

    But I feel that applied to real life in a seriously manner the saying has just as much meaning. Always be improving, always move your life forward towards better things.

    Thanks

    Ryan H.

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great illustration! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.treybailey.net Trey Bailey

    just..wow..I needed that Mr. Hyatt..thank you..

  • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

    This is really good. Thanks for putting it out there. I think too often we just assume that we have been one way for so long that we can’t or won’t change.

  • Ben

    Thanks for sharing something so personal with all of us. That took guts. I can only imagine one of your goals is to be more incarnational with Gail. Does that mean you decided not to keep your goals to yourself?

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great question. First, I haven’t decided to keep my goals to myself. In my post on that topic I was simply wondering aloud if some goals would be better kept to ourselves. Regardless, I didn’t really share this as a goal with Gail as much as trying to make it a part of how I am. I want to be more and do less.

  • Layne Bresler

    Great post, voicing a truth in a grabable way. If I may quibble just a bit; icarnational leadership is (I think) a branch of incarnational relationship, particularly in marriage. Also it would seem that when we alow others to lead us due to particular strengths on their part which correspond to particular lack on ours we both grow.

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No disagreement here. I think love and leadership are two sides of the same coin called “love.”

      • http://fghart.wordpress.com FGHart

        This is a great point! I’m giving a talk on “Leaders” at a retreat in February and it’s giving me a lot to consider about life & love. I pointed out to my friend who’s experiencing marital discourse that she’s filling a leadership role by loving her husband & taking the initiative to make changes for the betterment of their relationship. She can’t do that if she’s focusing on what HE needs to do differently.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    I think for ministry it is totally paramount that you enter into someones world. I think that is one of the things I need to get better at, just meeting people where they are, and not thinking too highly of myself or thinking of myself as the expert since they are coming to me and not the other way around, because I could just as easily be the one on the other end.

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Michael,

    I can enter in someone els’e world by adopting similar practices.

    I’ve let up on the nagging bit but tend to go solo. My girlfriend is also a solo-type but I intend to make the effort to do what she likes to do.

    As for my team I intend to adopt their viewpoint before writing training materials, etc. It’s simple to see things from our perspective but it takes real effort to see things from the perspective of someone new to a certain business, school of thought, etc. Those who put in this effort on a consistent basis become leaders.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful insight.

    Ryan

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I could write another whole post on what I am learning about nagging. It’s not pretty. It really has to do with my own arrogance and impatience.

      • http://communicatrix.com Colleen Wainwright

        Maybe you don’t feel as though you can frame a post on nagging appropriately for a blog about leadership, but I’m casting my vote for the nagging-analysis post. Increasingly, I’m being shown how many of my so-called problems are really just manifestations of the root problem, impatience. The arrogance, I know I’m afflicted with. :-)

        Oh, and if it isn’t already obvious, this is a terrific piece. Gail’s commentary is so well-put, so gracious and loving, and your response is equally remarkable. Inspiring, the two of you together.

        • http://ModernServantLeader.com Benjamin Lichtenwalner

          I second that – on both counts. One of the greatest things about you two (Michael and Gail) is your amazing ability to be equally open with us. In so doing, you are both leading by example and building others.

          I’d also appreciate a post on nagging analysis – I think many of us could use some insight there.

  • http://www.danwalshbooks.com Dan Walsh

    Wow, Michael. I’m married 34 years to my best friend, and you’ve challenged me not to take this friendship for granted (like you, I’m sure I do). Thanks for the humility to not only share what you’ve learned, but the honest mistakes that set up the education. You could have skipped that part, but I’m glad you didn’t.

  • Kimberly

    This is the most powerful article that I have read in a long time. I tend to be the more decisive; my husband, the more deliberate. I felt your ‘ouch’!

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      One key for us has been to learn to appreciate this difference and see how our marriage is richer because of it. Without Gail, I am impulsive. Without me, Gail is indecisive. Together, we make more thoughtful decisions.

  • Angie Weldy

    You are brave to post your wife’s 3 issues with you! I appreciate that you are that transparent.
    Just last night my 5 yr old daughter wanted to play “teacher” with me. I love my daughter like crazy but playing teacher is not actually my favorite thing in the world. I looked at her cute little face and agreed to play (thereby “entering her world”) and had a great time. I also found out my daughter is a great teacher!!
    Thanks for the post!

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is a great example, Wendy. It is another excellent application of this principle.

  • Eduardo

    Thanks for sharing. I’m on a simmilar position at home (I tend to lead my family as I do it in the business world) and I forgot about their world. It was all about me and my tasks. Great post

  • http://twitter.com/angelabisignano Angela Bisignano

    Excellent Post Michael. I think this is one of the best marriage exercises/suggestions I have heard in a long time. I appreciate your candor and humor. Interestingly, my husband and I recently had a similar discussion. We arrived at the conversation a little different; however suffice it to say, he revealed some things to me that I wasn’t aware of in our marriage. One of the things he shared was that he thought I had a bit of a “hall monitor” approach in running our household. Needless to say, I was taken off guard and just saw my ways as organized and focused. Although it was difficult to hear his words, I took them to heart. They really helped me to understand his world and to make some adjustments. We even joke about it now.

    One of your strengths as a leader is how you bring Gail and your marriage into your writing. I think many of your followers would love to hear from both you and Gail. After thirty-two years of marriage, I am sure you have a lot to share.

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Gail is my best mentor. She has taught me so much. The fact that she knows me best, probably helps, too.

      Thanks for your kind words—and your own example.

  • http://www.PurposeDrivenBroker.com Dan Foster

    Great post Mike. Very challenging exercise to do as well. Thank you for sharing this leadership truth and for being transparent with your experience and feedback from asking your small group and Gail that tough question.

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    Outstanding lesson here. What is equally impressive is not only that you asked and listened but then you acted on her behalf. Love, for our spouse or those we lead, is much better shown through action. Hard to do but that’s what makes it love… it goes beyond ourselves.

    Thanks for sharing this and for being transparent. That helps the rest of us too.

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. I’m still working on it. But, this is why I asked my guys not to make any promises. There is nothing worse than committing to change and then not following through!

  • http://www.gospelofkingdom.com Gregory Scott

    Thanks, Michael. I was just thinking this morning about how to be a better leader to my office staff and then saw your post. Timely!

  • Anonymous

    Don’t take this the wrong, how about simply try spending time together rather than remembering which principle to work, that still sounds a little distant. I get that you’re relating the take-away to leadership but I think even leaders would do well to invest in relationship with the people around them, without always being in “leadership mode”.

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t think this was a matter of trying to implement a principle. I think it was a situation where I was honestly trying to live my wife better and realized there is a bigger principle at work that applies beyond marriage. Thanks.

      • http://musicroad.blogspot.com Kerry

        Michael,
        I think it does apply beyond marriage — one of the things I was thinking about while reading was how this idea could apply for me with a friendship that has been going through distance and misunderstanding. Lessons of love all around.

  • http://www.clintbyars.com Clint Byars

    Don’t take this the wrong, how about simply try spending time together rather than remembering which principle to work, that still sounds a little distant. I get that you’re relating the take-away to leadership but I think even leaders would do well to invest in relationship with the people around them, without always being in “leadership mode”.

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  • http://www.validleadership.com James Castellano

    My wife shares similar feelings toward me. She suggested we each pick three date ideas, put them in a hat and joyfully do what was selected. So far it has worked well. I am also asking her how we should spend our time together so she feels part of the process.

  • http://mystrengthmyportion.blogspot.com Ryan Bilello

    Michael-

    Thanks for this honest post. I am learning this quite a bit, specifically in the relationship with my fiancée. You can’t just teach/show people leadership or teach people about leadership, but you must show them that leadership can change the lives of you & those you interact with.

  • http://www.LaurindaOnLeadership.com Laurinda

    Well, you just made me happy to be single! Hahaha, that’s tough and thanks for sharing.

    I never thought of it as the Incarnation Principle, but what Paul said to become all things to all men. You’ve given me a lot to think about.

  • http://truthforlifecoaching.com/ Bridget Haymond

    Taking time to really listen and asking questions without being defensive or judgmental is what has helped me to better connect with those in my sphere of influence.

    I like what you said about entering the other person’s world, which is really about valuing and appreciating them. And there is no better person to start with than a spouse!

  • http://www.layingonGodsAnvil.com kelly (race_12_1)

    I find this very interesting. Without even thinking about ti my husband and I became involved in each others worlds right away when we got married. I learned to run sound systems so I could be with him, and he started going to more events to be with me. Now, we allow each other our own interests, but we also recognize that if something is important to the other person it needs to be important to us. The function of a good marriage requires each to consider the other persons passions as important as they do their own.

  • http://curtismarshall.tumblr.com Curtis Marshall

    I was most challenged by your wife’s first point. I am a fixer (read do-er), and I ask my wife fairly regularly what I can “do” to be a better husband. She always seems slightly agitated by the question and usually just says “nothing.” I walk away feeling good about myself and go on about my daily activities. I never would have thought that the line of questioning could be one of the most annoying things I do.

    Perhaps, in some relationships, it is better to “study” our spouses, enter their world, and act accordingly without the verbal question. It is much easier to ask a question than to actually pay attention.

  • http://www.christopherscottblog.typepad.com/ Christopher Scott

    Michael,
    Thanks for a very transparent post.

    I still remember attending Tony Robbins’ seminars where his main theme is, “Enter their model of the world.” This was his secular way of saying, “Understand the other person and see the world the way they see it.” And when you do, the principle is very powerful because you build rapport and empathy with the other person.

    For me, I need to implement this more with my boss here at United Way. Her model of working is a little unorthodox than most executives. However, I should not judge her, I should understand her model of the world, and support her.

    Thanks for a good post, Michael.

  • http://www.bubbasmith.net Bubba Smith

    Great post Michael! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your personal experiences with us. It’s making a huge difference!

  • http://www.discoveringtogether.com Eyvonne

    It says a lot about your marriage that you’re wife was comfortable sharing these deep and personal concerns with you. Although, they may have been painful, she had confidence enough in your care for her to reveal them.

    This is a powerful indication of a healthy marriage. Not that there aren’t problems, but that she felt safe enough to share them with you and that you would respond in a positive way.

    How our world needs to see the give and take of a healthy marriage! It’s a continual process and this kind of communication is critical.

    Thank you for your openness in sharing.

  • http://scottcochrane.growingleadership.com/ Scott Cochrane

    Wow. You nailed me with this one Michael. “Be sincere and listen’; this alone will keep me thinking and processing for days!

  • http://AndyAndrews.com Andy Andrews

    Ouch to you?

    Yeah….ouch to me, too. Are you sure Polly didn’t help Gail write those answers? Great wisdom, Mike. Thanks for taking the time to share!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Thanks for sharing a transparent and powerful post. I’ll have to ask my wife that question. I certainly struggle with the solo activities part that you describe. It’s hard to find activities at times that my wife and I can do together, but I find with a little creativity we can make more things work out. For example, my wife is not into running, but she does like to walk. I just have to slow down and modify my training model a bit.

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  • Pat

    Interesting that I would read this today as my boss sent out an e-mail this morning asking us to do the same thing and it was based on the article, 10 Reasons Your Team Hates You (They Just Won’t Say It To Your Face) by Mike Figliuolo. As someone who has served as a church elder for over 2 years, I can tell you that I’m at my breaking point with frustration at the resistance to change. But I’ve been doing a lot of introspection and realize that my lack of patience says something about me. I need to address this and find ways to influence change without getting to the point of being jaded and ready to throw in the towel. Maybe I didn’t take time to BE with people and understand where they are and help them to move towards change from where they were. One thing I do know, Christ didn’t give up on people, so if nothing else, this points me to my need for ever dependence on Him.

  • http://www.vortexministry.com Bill Wolfe

    Thanks for your transparency Michael! Definitely giving me things to think about in my own life.

  • http://www.stepparentingwithgrace.com Gayla Grace

    Thank you for your transparency. It spurred my thinking on how I need to enter the world of my children in a deeper sense to continue influencing them in young adulthood.

  • http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com Nikole Hahn

    This is very timely. I did not understand a friend’s plan and in fact vocally tried to argue against it. While perhaps my reasons were valid and maybe even good ideas, I realized that I may not understand his reasons, but because his vision is good I need to stand behind him for the moment and try to step into his world. I can’t change things, but I can help support him so his goal is easier. Thank you for this very timely post!

  • http://www.jasonmlarsen.com Jason Larsen

    Wow. I really applaud you for not only going deep with your spouse, but for sharing the hard stuff with the world! I am excited and scared to take my relationship with my wife to this deep honesty, but know that it will really benefit us for years and years! As a Christian, I often think of incarnational ministry as something we are to practice with non-Christians, BUT it’s just as important with our families, or employees, and our children!

    Thanks so much for your leadership, Michael!

  • http://e-devotional.blogspot.com Melissa Miller

    Wow, that took a lot of humility to post what your wife wrote. Thank you for being transparent, you will enable others to do the same. Great blog!

  • http://e-devotional.blogspot.com Melissa Miller

    Thank you for your transparency, you will enable others to do the same. Great blog!

  • http://modernreject.com Nicole Cottrell

    I will give a perhaps stereotypical but relevant answer. I would do well to enter into my children’s worlds more. They are so small and their worlds seems galaxies away, but what they want–what they need–is for me to get on my knees and enter in, humbly and with eyes wide open.

    They need this not only so that i may know them more, but so they may know me more, as well.

    Thank you for this today.

  • Michael Shanlian

    It is not a sign of weakness for a leader to show some vulnerability. Humility coupled with a sense of humor about your mistakes is a sign of maturity. Every Seminary student must understand this or they will become autocratic in their leadership style and alienate instead of inspire. Great article Michael!

  • http://www.fancyrag.com Jamie Thomas

    Great Blog, Michael.

    I enjoy reading but usually would not consider posting anything. Your transparency of what your wife shared in response to your questions prompted me to respond and thank you for your humility.

    Really enjoy your blog.

    God Bless.

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jamie. I appreciate that.

  • Kingsly

    This is the most effective principle. “Entering into their world” would for sure needs sacrifice but i think its worth. Thanks for sharing. I think i should ask my wife this question..will try this out…i am just a couple of years in to marriage so i think i should do this now..

  • http://twitter.com/thedailyrob Rob Brock

    I’ve heard it said that most of the knowledge and competitive intelligence a company needs to excel is already present somewhere in the organization. The same thing is probably true in our life. Most of the knowledge we need to grow and succeed is already present in those around us. We just need to have the courage to ask.

    Thank you for being so transparent and demonstrating this principle in an unexpected way.

  • Kym

    Powerful stuff!

    I have been struggling with this. I cannot begin to be an effective competitor or even teammate with my son in his video games.

    My attempt has been to sit with him while he plays, ask how he’s doing achieving his next levels and learn about the games whenever he feels like explaining them.

    Think he appreciates it.

    It is definitely easier to engage with some people than others. Sometimes makes it more rewarding when the challenging ones “click”

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    The irony and transparency in this post packs a wallop of a punch, Mike.

    Now I think I need to go apply it—with some mighty reliance on the Lord.

  • http://ModernServantLeader.com Benjamin Lichtenwalner

    On Going Solo: I do some work with the Worldwide Marriage Encounter program. This is one of the key areas they focus on – how to avoid falling into the “married singles” trap so prevalent in today’s society. In extreme cases, over time, many marriages drift a part by doing just this – doing different solo activities rather than focusing on each other. I strongly recommend these weekend retreats for all marriages. There are “expressions” (versions) for many religions.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/NoTwitter Jaded Baby

    Powerful article.
    I left the house for the entire summer in preparation for divorcing, and by labor day I realized that I needed to open up my world and allow my wife to be an active part of it; likewise, I need to take a bigger interest in hers.

    It’s a tough lesson for someone who wants to remain married but also wants his independence and privacy. Marriage in a day-to-day lesson in compromise and acceptance.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Carrie Eason

    My husband just asked me for my three things… so I gave them to him. He’s currently writing them down… Now I’m waiting for mine. Thank you for the courage to be honest and expect honesty in return.

  • http://www.johngallagherblog.com John Gallagher

    Michael,

    Wow….thanks for sharing. What a great question to ask your spouse. I will try this exercise with Chris. Thanks to you and Gail for sharing. UNLESS, her #4 thing that annoyed her was that you shared things with your followers without her permission ;) – Just kidding, of course!

  • Benedicta Forson

    Reading this has really sparked off some interesting ideas in my mind right now. God bless you for sharing these thought-provoking issues with us. I need to enter into my friend’s world. Most of them complain about how I relate to them and i guess they have been right all along.Thanks again.

  • Uma Maheswaran S

    Good thought provoking idea from a different perspective.

  • http://www.pastorbrett.com Brett

    I really needed this today. My tendency as a leader is to think that if hand out the right resources (Books, DVDs, etc.) then a leader will be equipped and ready to go. But the truth is I must walk with them also. Good word. Thanks.

    This also reminds me I need to catch up on some “dates with Daddy” with the four little souls I’m shepherding.

  • Mark McKeen

    It’s so easy to forget about the ones that are closest to us. I can get so caught up in ministry that I forget that my wife and daughter are my primary ministry.

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  • http://www.pmhut.com/ PM Hut

    Hi Michael,

    I’m afraid I’m guilty with #1 (You tend to nag me) with everyone I know – I remember when I used to be a project manager in my last company, I used to nag even the owner of the company on getting things done!

    I think the reason why I did this is because I didn’t trust the other person to do the job on time, and I was mostly right. I wanted the task I’m giving to others to take the highest priority.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1123723512 Don McBride

    This is probably one of the best of your blogs..for me.

  • Isaac

    Great post. I had just written one on the same topic! Great leadership reminder to enter the world of another person… 

  • http://www.faithfulmd.wordpress.com/ Dr Mari

    Love your transparency; thank you! Leadership is so much about relationships, integrity, and being genuine. I love this piece–great reminders!

  • Jihoon

    “What bugs you about me? Specifically, what are the three things that cause you to be uncomfortable or irritated with me?”Indeed, this question is crucial for me. I gotta ask my wife this, am I whether an incarnational leader or not to my family?
    Thanks

  • http://www.thebiblicalleader.com/ John Reinagel

    Thanks for pulling this post out of the archives. It is very timely for me. I’m write a series of close to this topic. I think as leaders of groups and/or enterprise we forget too often the lessons of the Bible that we should simply just love others.

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  • Deborah H. Bateman

    Thanks for sharing this post. So often we think people are supposed to come to us or enter into our world when in reality as you point out we need to enter into their world. I too fail at this in a lot of ways. It is something I need to be more conscience about. Thanks for reminding me.
    Blessings,
    Deborah H. Bateman – Author

  • JamesDenman

    Our children, often times they are operating in a different world. Simple, somewhat boring things on the surface. But take time to get on their level and you will start to understand them and maybe even learn a thing or two. I had a dear friend that would engage children in this way. He would ask them “If you could be any bug what would it be?” The kids loved it and all kinds of conversations would erupt. My followers often grow me into the person I am to become.

  • http://www.fivefoldfatherhood.com/ Ricardo Butler

    Ouch from the wife, but GREAT because it needed to be said. Not having that kind of feedback in a marriage is like putting a ship on autopilot without it’s compass. You will eventually run into an iceberg size heart and wonder what happened! My wife could probably tear through me with questions like these. In 2014 my number one resolution is to be a better father, husband, and leader in the home.

  • Tina Mollie Fisher

    Ouch AND Awww. I expected a publicly approved list but, no. You posted something so personal, something so genuine and I loved it! Real is good, really, really good!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Tina.

  • Lori Schumaker

    We have a young daughter with emotional special needs and some severe behavioral issues. Entering her world is crucial to successfully parenting her, but it is also often the most difficult thing to force this exhausted and overwhelmed mama brain to do!

  • Matt Loewen

    Not sure why I haven’t been reading your posts lately as they appear on my Facebook news feed…but I’m glad I read this one. Probably the most transparent post I’ve read of yours – timely – and I could hear my wife saying something very similar to Gail’s 3 points.

  • http://www.MichaelRobertMoore.com/ Michael Robert Moore

    This is a great article. The first part reminds me of book I read a long time ago, “Jesus, CEO”. My wife and I have been working on communicating more openly like this. I must say, it has made a huge difference. Whether you’re leading your family, your business, or your peers, this type of communication is so important. Thanks, Michael!

  • Lisa Murfin

    Thank you for the courage to share this. Please thank Gail for letting you share. Willingness to listen, learn, be honest, and grow together are crucial to good relationships. You are both leading us well! I am encouraged and challenged.