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Leading is about Relationships

Posted on February 2, 2018 in General Ministry, Management, Opinion | 0 comments

Recently, I had a lady that worked on our team many years ago post one of those Facebook challenges to name where we met.  As is usually the case, I took the opportunity to provide a fun comment back to her.  She has a great sense of humor, and yet her response touched my heart.

Sam Leading

My friend is a single Mom who has worked hard to support her kids and continuously struggles with the challenges of life.  She is very smart and could work circles around others, but the weight of her burdens was certainly hard to overcome.  Nothing was easy and we had numerous discussions over a multi-year period about not just work, but life and the role faith plays in our daily routine.

Fast forward 15 years or so and she is still making life happen and encouraging others while she fights her own battles.  We haven’t really talked much over the years due to distance and focus, but have remained friends through social media.  Sure, sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. have their negatives, but one positive for someone who has traveled all of the world is the ability to stay in touch with those we have encountered and worked.  I have always enjoyed getting to know our team, their family, interests, etc. as it helped me to know what made them tick.  It also helped when trying to get them to be the best they could be.  I think that is why this post touched me the way it did….

Facebook Fun


Yes, we were having some fun, but her comment really touched my heart.  Winning in life is not about numbers and bank accounts.  Success is working together to make each other better and then celebrating your accomplishments as a team.  We haven’t worked together for over a decade, and yet we have a bond that was developed through doing work and life together over a period of time.  No, her personal life was not my business unless it was causing her to struggle and she reached out for advice or help.  At that point, it wasn’t about getting the job done, it was about helping to navigate life’s challenges so that she would have the ability to be successful in supporting her family, which in turn helped our team.  The organizational accomplishments of the team are but a distant memory.  The success in life through relationships will always be in close view for all of us that joined together to accomplish much!

A successful team is composed of people with unique skills and the ability to work together to tackle life’s challenges.  A leader must be able to understand what motivates the various members of the team, be on the pulse of who they are as people, and then mentor the team to optimize the unique gifts they possess.  In the end, the true success is not what is accomplished on the scoreboard, but how the team worked together to win the game!

We have accomplished a lot as a team in relation to the organizations, but after the smoke clears, it wasn’t those achievements that were most important.  The journey to reach that level of success has had a lasting impact on our lives.  As a leader, it just doesn’t get much better than that!

Sam Smith is an established Branding and Marketing Executive that has spent decades leading multiple international non-profit’s and ministries to record results for operations and service to the world’s poor.  He shares his passion at