Faithful Leaders- Being Faithful in the Small

Many boys growing up want to score the winning goal on cup final day. At one time I did. To be hoisted onto the shoulders of your team mates, shooting into the top corner at full blast from 35 yards, causing your team to win in extra time. Walking up the steps to collect and lift the trophy to the screams of adoring fans, chanting your name and singing ‘You’ll never walk alone.’ Yeah, pretty obvious really. I mean, did you have these dreams?

Or if you’re not a sportsperson, perhaps you’d wanted to be the director who wins his first Oscar on his third film. Record-breaking box office sales, critical acclaim, worldwide recognition and writers, producers and actors you’d always dreamt of working with, longing to be involved in your next film. Yeah- that sounds pretty good.

Or perhaps as a business person, you’ve dreamt to be appointed CEO of an international blue chip company, with the ability, resources and team to influence those around you. To help shape, cultivate and develop strategy for the business that will affect people for years to come.

Or alternatively, you’ve wanted to be a serial entrepreneur, to come up with that dot.com idea that not only ‘heals the world and makes it a better place’, but also makes you a billionaire after five years. That’s pretty easy isn’t it?

Whatever, your dream is…..connect with it for me right now, and get feeling those emotions that you’d imagine if it were to come about. People think it’s easy to do well when you’re at the top, it’s easy to be successful at that point. They never see the rise to influence that people have, but often they come into the public’s consciousness when that person has become a success.

Often people refer to others as overnight successes- but lasting success is rarely overnight. It’s often as a result of years of development, graft and growth. Is it easy to be faithful when all around are cheering you on, when people are watching, when you’re under the spotlight? If so, why is that a lot of people do fall from their positions of influence for one reason or another? What does it mean to be faithful when no one is looking, when no one will recognise you, no one is holding you up as an inspiration or encouragement, but quietly and persistently you do the right thing?

What does it mean to be faithful in the small? Whether it’s putting the chairs out at the end of a meeting, washing up the cups after the tea round, or working that photocopier like no one’s worked it before, how do you show your faithfulness in business. The person who is faithful in the little is someone to watch. They respond to their emails in a timely manner, ring back people they promised they would call, staying up all night to get something done within the deadline given, even though they know no one may notice? So what does faithfulness in business mean to you? Is it a questions that is even asked?

Often those who are faithful with their words and their actions in these areas show a depth of character, that is far more important than the flair and charisma of a vibrant go-getter. You can teach skills and abilities to people but it is harder to teach character. And unfortunately, lots of the times the Sportsmen, Film Directors or CEO’s have arrived at their position through their charm, personality, abilities, skills and hunger for success. Although people use these attributes in good ways, many haven’t had the years to build character in the little things, to be faithful in the small. And as people are faithful in the small, character gets rubbed into someone’s life, moulds someone’s thinking.

As a result, these people don’t want to cut corners. It offends the practices and the way that their hearts have become moulded. Character gives space to work out what ‘markers’ there are in business, what are the lines that its simply wrong to cross. I wish I’d worked this out far more when I first started in business. And I hope I work it out going forward. When today I heard the news of Lance Armstrong, and the doping allegations, I felt disappointed. Whether they are true or not, it is so easy to make mistakes, to cut corners, to take chances, and where there is so much ‘failing’ from football players, politicians, business leaders and entrepreneurs, my prayer is please God help me develop my character that I may be a faithful man, in all I do. Where I can see the contradictions within me, let good character rub life into those places.

So the next time you feel frustrated with the pace that your opportunities are opening up, and you’re longing to work at a ‘higher’ level, take a wider look at what’s going on. Ask how your character can grow in keeping with your skills growing? Be grateful that this is time for good work to be done in you, to be formed in you, to ensure that you have good foundations to sustain you throughout your professional career and personal life.

Who you are in private, completely affects who you are in public.

If you do find that your life pulls you into different spheres of influence, the impact of you not having a formed character are so much more catastrophic. You can always learn skills that bit easier. And as you work on your character, and grow your faithfulness you may find as a result of this good inner work, your type of ambition changes. You may have a different outlook on life. That life is not just about scoring the winning goal, being the top CEO or multi zillionaire entrepreneur. You may find contentment and satisfaction in more than just your career, bank balance and what others think of you. You may find a deeper joy opening up for you. Perhaps this starts in finding peace from being faithful in the small things.

  • Andrew Belfield

    So often we think, often depending on our personality of the big or the small, the first or last which has so much to do with prominence. In my life I am learning that significance is so much better than prominence. It is taking me from the realm of ‘the me’ and ‘the now’ to others and eternity. In most circumstances of extremely successful entrepreneurs I have met their primary interest and motivation has not been to make serious money but to exert influence, creativity and alternatives and to then have the ability to have time to ‘PLAY’. I prefer to think of the terminology of ‘Faithful in All’ rather than faithful in the small, as this does not discriminate between the small which is often viewed as less important or can come over as pious. Certainly if business, politics etc had this attitude I believe it would change what we do and more importantly how we do it. I am a great believer of not allowing your gifting to take you where you character can’t keep you. Let’s create a brave new and better world.