Leading with Dignity


Picture courtesy of Boston.com

I hadn’t been out of my parents’ house for long. I had always taken great pride in being independent and responsible, but I couldn’t hide it this time. I had overdrawn my checkbook so badly that I didn’t even have enough money to pay for the extra fees from the bank.

My feelings of shame must have been quite evident to my dad when I came to him confessing what I had done. It took me humbling every part of my being in order to admit my failure and ask for help. He could have pointed out all of my bad choices. He could have humiliated me, held it over my head, and made me earn his trust again….But he didn’t.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. When it comes to leading, whether family or staff, you have to lead with dignity.

I’ve had teachers that have made terrible decisions, said the wrong things, and withdrawn from the rest of the team. When I approached them with genuine concern, I better understood the whole picture. They were facing divorce; Their parents were in poor health; Their child had just been diagnosed with a disability; Their friend had recently committed suicide; They didn’t have enough money to pay this month’s bills; etc.

“How would you want your supervisor to deal with you if you had just dropped the ball?”

Take time to understand those you lead before jumping to conclusions. By doing so, you’ll create some of the most loyal employees anywhere.  If they are still teachable, this failed attempt could be one of the most valuable experiences they may ever receive.

What stories do you have of how you or someone you know has treated another with great dignity? Leave your story in the comments section and help encourage us all.


About Chris Stevens

I'm an Elementary Principal, husband, father of three, and an imperfect follower of Christ. I have eight years experience at the Jr-Sr High level and 14 years experience speaking at various churches.
This entry was posted in Leadership, Teams and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Leading with Dignity

  1. imconfident says:

    When people treat us badly, we have to remember that they may be facing difficulties in their life or that they have been treated badly themselves. Everyone has a story and it may be one filled with abuse, violence or neglect. They may not know how to be nice to other people and we need to be an good example and show love and kindness to everyone we meet so we can influence them in a positive way.

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