Are You A Quiet Leader?


Something About Nothing – Column published in the Albert Lea Tribune the week of March 29, 2015

I always struggle with my column the Monday before Easter. What can I say about the Christian holiday of Easter that I haven’t said before?

I have spent the week preparing to celebrate my family’s Easter on Palm Sunday. We weren’t able to all get together for Christmas because we kept getting stormed out. Hopefully that won’t happen on Palm Sunday.

The eggs are ready to be decorated. Easter baskets for the grandkids are ready to be filled. The groceries are bought and my house is getting a good cleaning in preparation for a first-time guest who will be celebrating Easter with us this year. These are the fun preparations for Easter.

Growing up in a Catholic family, the preparation for Easter in my early years and in society was more focused on the days leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus by prayer and church services that were attended without fail. It was about church and not so much the commercial part of Easter.

I got it, what Easter was about. I am not so sure in this day and age that our young Christian boys and girls understand that in today’s society, because focus is a little more on the fun and not the seriousness of the Christian holiday.

Pondering these thoughts I thought about Jesus’ leadership while he walked this Earth. He was a quiet leader accomplishing much but doing it in a way that was quiet but moving.

For me Easter is also about quietness, a time to reflect. I don’t know if I am a leader but the way I lead isn’t quiet. I am out there, in your face, letting my opinion be known. People either like me or well, you know the opposite of that. I can be very intrusive. That is not necessarily the best form of leadership.

Thinking about the people I know, I focused on one person that has a quiet leadership style but has more respect than anyone I know. I am not comparing this person to Jesus because she would feel she is not worthy. In the world we live in today we don’t always see quiet people as leaders.

This person is a leader because I have never heard one word come out of her mouth that gossips or maligns another person. I have never heard this person utter a foul word or show anger by shouting or losing control. I have not ever heard this person complain about her fate in the ups and downs in her life and she has had plenty. She is capable of saying no to something she does not want to do but does it in such a kind way that no one gets upset. She does not always say no to things she doesn’t want to do but pitches in and volunteers if she knows she is needed, whether it is a task that she likes or not.

You might think I am making this person into a saint, but I am not. That quiet leadership style brings peace to a task, gives a person permission to say no and not feel guilty and teaches me that quietness and gentleness and kindness can move people and move mountains without strife and conflict. This person would be the last person to call themselves a leader but she is. She leads by the way she conducts her life. That is what Jesus did. That is what the quietness of his life teaches us.

I am not a Bible scholar. I can’t preach the gospel and I can’t quote too many Bible verses. Jesus led a quiet life and those who did not share his leadership style brought the notoriety and conflict into the story. They took a quiet life and made it very public.

Quietness — do you know any quiet leaders? Easter is days away. Christians will hear about the life of Jesus and his walk to the cross. Take a few moments this Easter Sunday aside from the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts and sit in the quietness. Where do you see the quiet walk of those who are moving mountains in lives the same way Jesus did?breathe[                   Something About Nothing


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