UNSAID: WHAT THEY DID NOT TELL YOU WHEN THEY PUT YOU IN CHARGE

A lot of people fail the first time they lead. For some, this is a result of incompetence. These people do not have the necessary skills to do the job nor do they have leadership training beforehand. Incompetent people cannot lead others.

Others fail because it is a classic case of ‘too-fast-too-soon”. The people around these leaders notice their potential and skills but they have not check on the leaders’ experience beforehand. As soon as these not so ready for prime time leaders face the first conflict and/or disciplinary issues, they fold like a cheap tent in a tropical typhoon.

But even if the leaders possess the necessary skills and experience, even if these beginners would eventually be fine leaders at the end, there were still adjustment time for them to learn about the unsaid. Every leader needs to learn about the unsaid things of leadership people don’t tell you in classrooms, books, or even mentoring situations. Usually we have to learn these unsaid things by ourselves. But this October, we will try to learn about a few of them together here at the church.

UNAPPRECIATED: CARING WHEN NO ONE ELSE CARES

The first unsaid thing we will discuss is that nobody cares. That’s right: nobody cares.

A lot of new leaders become discouraged early because they feel that their people do not respect them. I have bad news for you. It’s not that they don’t respect you; they just don’t care.

Leaders come and try to help, motivate, and you know, lead people to go where they need to go. The good leaders are ready to give everything to make sure they can lead people well. So you can see why it is difficult for these committed leaders to learn that the people they are trying to lead were not as enthusiastic as they were. A lot of leaders quit because of this gap of enthusiasm.

And to make things worse, nobody tells us this. The leadership and management books usually assume that everyone in your company, institution, or even group of friends, both want and need you to lead. Well, here’s the first unsaid things in leadership: you will be unappreciated. A lot of people in your care do not care for you. They don’t feel that they need you nor do they want you.

If you want to be a great leader, and you should want to be the best leader you can be, then you should be ready to be unappreciated. You should accept the fact that people don’t care. But unfortunately, to lead well, the leaders have to care. A lot. Again, it is hard to cover that gap of enthusiasm. It is hard to care when you know that they don’t care. But the good news is that we can learn from Jesus this difficult skill of leadership: caring when no one else cares.

MARK 4.35-42 (NLT)

35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.

NOBODY CARES

Jairus’ friends did not care that Jesus was in the middle of a teaching engagement when Jairus came to ask him to come and heal his daughter. They did not care that Jesus actually just got back from a long trip abroad. Obviously, they did not care that Jesus just healed and restored a daughter of Israel who had been hurting and was cast out for the last 12 years. These people did not care about any of that.

The only thing that mattered to them is that when they needed Jesus, Jesus was not there. The girl is dead and there was nothing left to do. “Jairus, don’t bother him anymore. He’s too busy teaching and travelling and healing a bleeding woman to help a dying girl… Who needs him anyway?”

As human beings, we want the people around us to understand us. We want them to appreciate us when we try. But let’s be real: most of us care much more about ourselves than about others.

“Who cares that this company is struggling financially? No when I don’t have enough money for my family!”

“I don’t have time to care about your relationships because at least you are in a relationship. I don’t even have one!”

We can keep going here but I think you get the point. Nobody cares because everyone only cares about themselves.

JESUS CARES BECAUSE HE DOESN’T CARE THAT PEOPLE DON’T CARE

But Jesus cares. He always care. And here’s an ironic statement: Jesus cares because he doesn’t care that people don’t care.

That’s who Jesus is. He loves us when we doubt him. Heck, he loves us even when we were his enemies. And he cares for us when we do not care about him at all.

Most of us would walk away if we were in Jesus’ shoes – or sandals. So you don’t care that I was busy? You don’t care that I just got back from a long trip? Do you know that I had to leave thousands of people who are waiting for me to teach them and to heal them to help this little girl of yours? You probably don’t care that I just miraculously healed someone a minute ago, do you?

We are dying to walk away when we learn that people do not care. We want to walk away everytime we feel unappreciated.

But Jesus kept walking towards Jairus’ place. Even when the people in the house laughed at him, he brought his closest friends with him upstairs to do what he had decided to do. Why? Because Jesus didn’t care that they didn’t care.

That is why we need Jesus in our lives. Because he would not let us give up. He wants us to care even when no one else cares.

WE CARE LIKE JESUS CARES

The world needs leaders who care like Jesus care. What we need now is leaders who care even when no one else does. In a world of instant gratification, in a time when narcissistic tendencies are accepted and even celebrated, Jesus wants us to love, to lead, and to care when no one around us care.

When we care like Jesus cares, then we lead like Jesus leads. And that means caring when the people we have worked so hard to lead do not care about our feelings, struggles, situations, problems, etc.

And you know what the beautiful thing is? When people know we care, they suddenly care too. It’s amazing to see how people completely change their work ethics and performance when they learn that their leaders care for them as people. When they learn that their leaders care even when they did not care.

So you can choose: do you want to wait for them to care about you and your situation or are you ready to care even when they don’t give a damn? If you are ready to care, then you are ready to lead like Jesus lead.