The Appreciation Principle

You learn a lot about a leader when you learn what they appreciate. When a leader shows appreciation and respect for a certain standard or moral value you should take notice. There is a lesson being taught. The leader is signifying, with their appreciation, the importance and priority that they place upon a standard or value. Those who learn the lessons of leaders become the next leaders at the next level.

True leaders are constantly questioning, What are the standards being established? and What are the values being modeled?  This is what determines the quality of any movement, ministry or business. Leaders create an environment of excellence. Great leaders set high standards and promote core values. The best leaders tend to surround themselves with people they appreciate. This appreciation is not based on skills, sales, or services. It is an appreciation for character. Character is based on standards and values.

Personally and anecdotally through the years I have learned that leaders universally appreciate the following:

1) Curiosity – Leaders appreciate team members that love to learn. Those open to new knowledge and experiences available through their leaders will excel. True leaders are mentors. Leaders want to teach, educate and empower their team. Good  leaders build their teams with learners. Jesus started off with “disciples”.

2) Energy – Leaders appreciate team members who bring enthusiasm and exuberance to every effort.  Momentum is determined by the collective energy of a leader and his team. Leaders that love what they do want to be around exciting people. There is no substitution for passion. Jesus chose “zealots” to be on His team.

3) Loyalty – Leaders appreciate team members that refuse to revolt. Faithfulness and fidelity to the vision of the leader is essential. Loyalty is how trust is birthed and built with leaders. Loyalty to leadership is noble and honorable. Loyalty is a commitment to the greater call. Jesus called His team to the highest level of commitment, “take up a cross”.

4) Honesty – Leaders appreciate team members that will tell the truth. The truth gives the leader the opportunity to adjust the team to a new set of realities. This is crucial in decision-making and conflict resolution. Honesty is not petty. Honesty is speaking the truth in love. Honesty must be motivated by grace and intended for healing. Jesus told His team He was “the truth”.

5) Generosity – Leaders appreciate team members that give more than what is required. “Above the standard” is the standard for excellence. Generosity is the attitude of world changers. Generosity is transformative. Generosity creates opportunity. Anytime people apply generosity to their cause or calling it will increase. Jesus lived a generous life for His team, he willingly gave his life.

6) Punctuality – Leaders are not latecomers! Leaders know how to use the power of time. Leaders do more than watch clocks, keep schedules, and manage time. Time management is for managers, not leaders. Leaders don’t just manage, they maximize!  Leaders are committed to maximizing the team’s time and opportunities. Every minute and moment is a chance to pursue purpose. There is no time to waste. Leadership is engaging a purpose and helping others to discover it. This takes time. Jesus maximized His time with His team.

7) Spirituality – Leaders appreciate team members that have faith in God. The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. Jesus taught His team to “seek first the kingdom of God”. Spirituality is living according to unseen resources. Spiritual people achieve supernatural results. Spirituality acknowledges and accesses the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived kingdom.

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