Leading the One the Few the Many

by Ray Reuter on July 28, 2016

I recently had an experience that prompted me to reflect on the importance as a leader to lead the ONE the FEW and the MANY.

As a leader, there are ample times when we are called to lead the many — organizations, departments, teams, families, volunteers. Effective leaders cast a vision, establish priorities, set the tone, communicate key messages, manage performance, set direction, provide support and encouragement, and so forth to the many.

At the same time, effective leaders also lead, influence, and inspire the one. Strong leaders have the ability to provide focused, tailored leadership to meet the needs and readiness of the one in the midst of the many.

And finally, between these two extremes there is often the few. A small subset of change agents, of key influencers, an “inner circle.” Masterful leaders have the special ability and talent to lead and treat the few uniquely as well.

Once again, Jesus is a powerful model of this principle. Jesus clearly led the many … His followers, the disciples, the crowds. Jesus also had His “inner circle,” the few that He led in a special way … the twelve apostles and also Peter, James, John. And then with a combination of great compassion, love, and intensity He led one-to-one. I think of Peter in particular, plus Mary Magdalene, Thomas, the Roman Centurion.

To be a dynamic and impactful leader — to lead like Jesus — requires focusing on and meeting the particular needs of the ONE the FEW the MANY.



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