Setting Others Up to Win
Charlotte Gambill | Life Church UK | Bradford, UK
As a leader, one of the things I have had to learn is how to keep moving forward even if at times others around me would rather I held back. Imagine for a moment if everyone in your world was cheering you on. Each voice was propelling you forward, standing with you in the challenges and celebrating every mountain conquered. With that kind of encouragement, we would all dream bigger and step out in more confidence and courage. Sadly, the opposite of this scenario is more often our reality. In place of the voices of encouragement, we find negativity and motives questioned; we hear voices that are intimidated by our potential or jealous of new territory we endeavour to embrace.
God’s plan is that, as leaders, we use our voices to propel others forward. Yet the enemy would love for us to use our voices to shrink another’s dream instead of enlarge it. If the enemy can’t use your words, he will settle for your silence, withholding what someone may need to hear to help fuel their faith for the road ahead.
When I was 19 years old, I decided to step out in leadership and start my first Bible study for women. With my nerves at an all time high, I stood up in front of about 50 people and began to express my plan. Looking desperately for some encouragement, I was not prepared for what came next; three older women audibly booed at the announcement of my dream and left the room. In that moment, I was faced with the reality we have to handle on occasions in our leadership. What do you do when the voices against you are louder than the ones for you? As young as I was and hurt from this incident, I remember thinking that I wanted to lead differently. I didn’t want my insecurity to hold a young leader back. I wanted to commit in the moments where I felt intimidated or even jealous, to realize the person stepping out was not my property but my sister. So I prayed for the ability and wisdom to become the type of leader who would set others up to win.
In leadership, we need to fight to change the trend of ‘every man for himself’ by modelling instead a commitment to being a part of a company of people who want each other to succeed. Throughout scripture we see brother turn against brother; from Joseph and his jealous siblings to David and his feuding family. Yet there is a great model found between two women of differing generations that set each other up to win. At the worst time in Naomi’s life, Ruth commits to stand by her and aligns her life with Naomi’s. At a time of weakness, Ruth speaks strength into Naomi’s spirit by saying, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16. We all have the words that will help another win; generation-to-generation we need to recapture the power that will not only carry one another but also bring generations together.
Ruth went on to serve Naomi and in so doing found favor in the fields of Boaz. I have heard it said many times that favor isn’t fair but I believe favor is fair when it’s shared. Ruth took the favor on her life and shared it with Naomi, setting them both up for success. Within your sphere of leadership and influence, what favor could you share with another to help them win?
When Naomi realized Boaz was interested in Ruth, she then used her wisdom to set her daughter-in-law up to win. She helped her position herself for her future generationally. We have so often lost the wisdom that could have been passed on; we have closed the conversations that could have bridged a gap and replaced them with silences that widen the divide.
Ruth and Boaz married and went on to have a son. Incredibly, in Ruth chapter 4 it records that when the baby was born the women cry, “Naomi has a son”. The truth was, Ruth had a son and yet in that moment, the voices were attaching this blessing to Naomi. The power of this picture is something we often fail to see and enjoy, because the reality is when we set each other up to win, their win becomes our win. Ruth’s baby was also Naomi’s legacy. This new life had renewed her life. God’s plan for women in leadership is to share in every success we help set our sisters up for. Every time they birth ideas and create projects, we have a part of that to cherish and enjoy. Each time your team excels, you should sense the joy of all the times you have invested into them and trusted them. We must learn to see the greatest joy is being a part of one another’s breakthroughs and miracles.
God’s plan for us all is that we discover those we can help win and in so doing we will see our own life advance and prosper. Let’s turn the trend that seeks to sabotage another’s success and be those who shout to one another, dream greater, go further, for your win is my win.