Timer starts. Now.

I got a message on Facebook this morning from a friend who wanted some input about a friendship issue.

At the end of my reply to her, I shared this advice: 

I hope that you can move forward in this new peace with (your friend). I hope that your friendship will be stronger as you accept one another, forgive one another, and commit to encourage each other even when you make different choices.

One last thought: even if she is unable to do that for you, perhaps you can go first: be the one to accept, encourage, reassure, and love her first. (That’s what leaders do.)

As I rushed around today to pick up the girls from school and prepare lunch, I thought about that often-used phrase: leaders go first.

I also thought about the comment on my last post from Beth Vogt, who wrote “I like to lead from the back of the room.”

In many situations, leaders need to go first, set the example, be willing to step forward and take action. Leaders need to love first, encourage first, share first, forgive first, reach out first.


Leaders also need to be able to go last. To put others and their needs first. To serve. To listen. To take the back seat. To lead from the back of the room. To let others shine.

Leaders need to think about and consider others’ needs first. To do that, leaders put themselves last.

My twelve minutes are nearly gone. So set your timer for a minute or three and tell me what you think. In what other ways do leaders need to go first… and last?