Good boyfriends and husbands know how to compliment. Good leaders encourage and build others up.
But, what does it look like to build others up? If we take a moment and withdrawal from social media, we’ll find the best way to build others is to be less self-centered. As a leader, you should spur others on to do greater things than yourself. The best leaders replicate themselves and build others, and here are 7 practical ways you can do it:
A good compliment can reveal the subtle, not-so-obvious qualities about someone. As I discuss in 10 Ways to Win a Girl’s Heart, a good compliment is specific, relevant, timely, and thoughtful.
Let’s break down “encourage.”
The prefix en means “to cause (a person or thing) to be in,” cour means “heart,” and the suffix -age means “to act with.” Putting it altogether, an appropriate definition for “encourage” is to help put some heart within someone so they can take action.
Sometimes our hearts feel far-removed from a situation and we feel powerless. But, when someone comes along and pushes us to keep going, we can often make it to the end through hope and motivation.
Be that guy who encourages everyone he meets.
3. Show Up
One thing I learned from being a Young Life leader is to be present. I had a group of football players I helped build into incredible leaders. I went to every single one of their football games. It was sacrifice on my part, but it meant so much to them. Because of the many absent fathers, showing up and being a mentor makes a big difference.
I think of how Jesus built up his disciples. He washed their feet and said to them,
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13: 14-15).
Washing feet was reserved for the servants. People walked in sandals all day long. It probably wasn’t a pleasant task. But, Jesus came “not to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:28).
These men became the foundation of the largest religion in the world. If you want to build a legacy with other men, serve them.
Be patient. We’re all on our own journeys. We can’t expect perfection from those closest to us. I recently learned (because I’m about to be a parent) that it’s harmful to force a child to walk before its time. Instead, a child should walk by his or her own natural progression.
Show friends you are with them for the long haul. Everyone has their ups and downs but unconditional love sticks around. This is good to practice now. One day you’ll make the vow, “For better and worse…”
Recently I was asked before an event, “Do you think people are jealous of you?” I shrugged it off. Sometimes it seems Los Angeles, CA is built upon jealousy.
“Yes,” I said. “I’m sure people are jealous and why should that be an issue? I’ve probably been jealous of them at one point or another.”
It then occurred to me, “Have I ever forgave anyone who was jealous of me?” It seems a bit ego-centered I know: “God, forgive them for hating the fact I’m so dang good at this thing.” But, it made me wonder, Am I purposely inciting jealous? If so, I need to stop. And yes, I need to forgive anything that gets in the way of relationship and connection.
Forgiveness builds others up by reconnecting the relationship. Only through healthy relationships can we grow.
In the middle of a testosterone-raged gym, I ran into a buddy who told me he had a fractured back. I felt like I was supposed to pray for healing. For a moment, I looked around, and wondered if we should move to a less trafficked area. But, why be a coward or ashamed of prayer? Prayer is bold! With our heads bowed, I put my hands on his back and I prayed for him in the middle of that gym!
Prayer encourages and speaks to that inner man. In prayer, the unseen is seen. Our God-given identities are revealed. When we let our walls down and surrender to what God is telling us, nothing can build up another more. In this case, a few years later he informed me his back is still displaced, but it’s been manageable ever since.
Prayer is a skill set useful for building up your friends, loved ones, and even future family members.
A building with a strong foundation is not easily toppled. If you want to build strong friendships, relationships, 0r teams, you’ll need to get into the practice of building others up.