Dear leader, it is time to ask yourself these questions: “Do people carry out my instructions?” Your answer…? Why have some people obeyed and others ignored them? Jesus gave some instructions to His disciples. “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” (John 21:15). These instructions are still being obeyed gladly! Dear leader, develop the art of making people obey your instructions.
How can a leader make people obey him?
- By explaining instructions in detail so that everyone understands the instructions. Understanding the instructions will make them gladly obey you. Sometimes people do not obey simply because they did not understand what you said. A lack of understanding of the instructions is very different from a bad attitude and a froward spirit. Make it easy for everyone and let the instructions be clear.
- Get rid of complaining and murmuring individuals. You can have some negative-spirited people who just say negative things about everything. These are the people who poison the atmosphere and make everyone feel that they are into a bad thing. It is very important to maintain a cheerful spirit in the workplace. Systematically eradicate complainers and murmurers from your system. They have a potential to sway people with a good mind and destroy a good thing in the process.
- Correct wrong attitudes even when they are not fully developed into full-blown disobedience or rebellion. It is also the mark of a leader to see through people and be able to determine quite accurately what their negative attitudes will yield in the future. It is far better to nip a wrong attitude in the bud than to do damage control in the future.
- Punish people who disobey. Your organization cannot be established unless people believe that judgment will fall when the wrong thing is done. Punishment is a good thing because it establishes the land. Many disorganized offices are the way they are because no one is ever dismissed. Warnings are issued but no one ever dares to carry out the threat. Let everyone see that when you break the rules, the rules will break you! When you are fair, people will believe in the laws and obey you gladly. If they feel that one rule applies to some people and another rule to other special people, they will rebel against your instructions. The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it.
- Reward people accordingly. Even Jesus expected his reward! Jesus was motivated by the thought of His reward. Rewards are some of the highest form of motivation in existence. Why do you think an athlete runs around for hours every day? Why do you think boxers subject themselves to severe, dangerous and life-threatening knocks on the head? It is because of the joy of a million dollars or more that will come after the knocking is over. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
The joy that is set before people will make them do almost anything. Rewards can make people do almost anything! People who have died for the cause of Christ died willingly, thinking of the reward that lay ahead. When Jesus spoke to Peter, he told him about his death. He predicted that Peter would die in a way that he might not like. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, when thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, follow me.
John 21:18, 19
He told Peter to follow him even to that end. Peter was willing and obedient. Perhaps, the key that made Peter willing to die was the fact that Jesus himself had set the example. Jesus had shown that there was a great reward in following.
You see, leadership is all about setting examples. When a leader leads the way personally, his words become more powerful. Do you want your words to be respected? Do you want to be such a powerful leader that people would be prepared to die for your cause? I believe you do! It's time to set the example and lead the way. When you lead the way, people will gladly follow! May your followers find great joy in following your instructions!
By Dag Heward-Mills