“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
I believe in people and their capacity for greatness. Throughout history, people of excellence have accomplished incredible things. This quality of excellence is exemplified whenever we use all of our abilities to achieve something exceptional.
I salute the leaders who teach, preach, mentor, heal, work, support, defend, uplift, serve, coach, and train as a part of everyday life. In every occupation, we find extraordinary leaders who create an atmosphere that is positive and beneficial. They jump-start each day with the mission of attaining excellence. They inspire greatness in their subordinates, nurture greatness in their children, and attract greatness in relationships.
Negative people, on the other hand, can only see the worst in others. They sabotage. They speak ill of others, sometimes doing so when they don’t really know what they’re talking about.
It is terribly sad when pessimists reach a level of leadership that allows them to let the rancid poison of negativity spill over. In such situations, the cynics often have the capacity to do unparalleled harm and to wreak havoc without cause. They damage, disrupt, destroy. Pessimists are like storm clouds invading an otherwise sunny day.
Nehemiah’s words suggest to me that joy is more than a nice spiritual trait Christians may have. It is strength. Joy is a critical leadership trait! Joy among leaders has long been my personal philosophy. More than that, joy is an authentic concept backed by research and science. The science is known as “positive psychology.” There are colleges that offer positive psychology as a major. I’m talking about prestigious schools like Harvard, Claremont Graduate School, and the University of Pennsylvania.
The fact that the academic community appreciates joyfulness convinces me that positive leadership can be learned.
For those of us who represent Christ in our world, it saddens me to think that the world could beat us at being positive. I wish that it were possible for me to issue an edict that declared this: in every home, church, Christian institution or organization where Christians are present…anywhere on the planet…no negativity will be allowed.
Knowing that the joy of Christ is within us should result in joy in our leadership. Starting right now, let’s agree to:
1. Support! Use all of our strength to build up someone else in our families, churches, workplaces, schools and neighborhoods.
2. Enhance! Speak gentle words of encouragement, praise and inspiration. Eliminate conversation that is harsh, critical, biting, and snappy.
3. Declare! Make “everyday joy” your new life’s mission statement!
Regina Prude is an inspirational speaker and author. Comments: email@example.com or POB 58795, Nashville, TN 37205. Blog: www.reginaprude.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/reginaprude; Twitter: http://twitter.com/rprude.