How can a leader make people obey him gladly?
Jesus trained a group of twelve and sent them on a mission into the whole world. After more than two thousand years, Jesus is still able to make people follow his instructions gladly. He told Peter to feed the flock of God and that is exactly what Peter did.
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
If you call yourself a leader, ask yourself, “Do people carry out my instructions?” Why are some people obeyed and some others ignored? Develop the art of making people obey your instructions. There are several things you can do to get people not only to obey your instructions, but to obey them gladly.
Ways to make people obey you gladly
1. Dear leader, do not give unreasonable instructions and people will obey you gladly.
People following a leader look to him as someone ahead of them. They are also poised to obey his instructions. Many times, the followers of a leader would align themselves to the aim of the leader with the aim of maintaining it. However, when unreasonable instructions come from the leader, a negative reaction is likely to be the response. People rebel against wicked and unreasonable men! If you want people to obey you gladly, give them reasonable instructions!
2. Dear leader, teach your followers why certain things have to be done and they will obey you gladly.
When people understand why they are doing something, they often do it better! People like to be credited with using their brains. People are happier to be given a chance to contribute by making intelligent decisions to what they have been asked to do. Remember that in the Bible, God invites us to “Come and let us reason together.” People are glad to obey you when they see that your instructions are for their good as well. That is why, for example, I preach on: 'Fifty Reasons Why Christians Should Be Soul Winners’. I want people to understand the last instruction of Jesus Christ. People are more wont to obey an instruction they understand than when they are told, “Do it because I say so!”
3. Dear leader, show people that you are not partial or partisan and they will obey you gladly.
People have a natural tendency to compare themselves with others. This covers many areas of life. In fact, even amongst children of the same household, they are likely to look out for and compare the reactions of their parents to their individual actions. If a parent responds differently to the same action by two siblings, there is likely to be discontentment with the one who received the seemingly unfair treatment. Within an organisation, the workers behave in a similar fashion. They are always on the lookout for the response to their actions and whether the response to others is the same for a similar action. When the responses are different, the leader is quickly seen as partial. Be it known to you that when you are perceived as partial you are likely to be classified as unfair. Some followers are likely to even sabotage what you are trying to do because you are perceived as partial.
4. Dear leader, let the people see that you obey instructions yourself and they will obey you gladly.
Many rebellious people do not realize that they are teaching their followers to be rebellious by their very actions. The Centurion who sent for Jesus illustrated this principle beautifully.
For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
This man was enumerating the instructions which he had given and which were being obeyed. But he was careful to let us know that he also was under authority. In other words, he himself was obeying instructions. The army officer often has to lead people to their deaths. How does he make young men sacrifice their lives on the frightening fields of war? By leading the charge himself when he's told to do so.
Remember that if you cannot make people gladly do things they naturally would not do, then you are not a leader. Develop this art of making people obey you gladly and people will always wonder about the team that works with you and how they love to sacrifice and to serve. Indeed, it is our prayer that those we elect into power are able to make people obey them gladly!
Culled from 'The Art of Leadership'
By Dag Heward-Mills