Leader to Leader, Leadership

They’re Watching

July 31, 2017 | Posted by Randy Raasch

I am blessed to have two younger brothers. They are five and seven years younger than me. They are more intelligent than me, better looking and much more talented.

But back in the day, when I was a teenager and they were in grade school, my mother would remind me that I needed to set an example because they were looking up to me. She told me that they listened to what I said and how I said it.

They followed my style of dress and the way I combed my hair. They listened to my favorite music. Mom reminded me that they looked up to me and with that came great responsibility.

It is amazing they grew up to be such good and upstanding men!

Leaders must heed the same counsel my mother gave me. Leaders set the culture of the organization.

Organizational qualities such as community involvement, generosity, work ethic and mutual care, begin with the leader. The people who work with us look to us to set the stage as leaders. We can contract consultants to help us formulate mission statements and identify core values, but these will remain only concepts on paper unless the leader lives them out in his/her daily life and interactions with the people of the organization.

When my mother informed me that my brothers were watching and ready to follow my lead, it was tempting to use my perceived power to get what I wanted out of them. Instead, my mother encouraged me to “show them the way.” She called me to be an example, a model for them to follow.

In short, she defined leadership and called me to be a leader.

Thanks, Mom!

Randy Raasch
Randy Raasch has served as pastor of First Immanuel Lutheran Church of Cedarburg, Wisconsin for 27 years. He has been an adjunct professor of theology at Concordia University Wisconsin since 1990. His personal mission statement is, I serve God by serving others.