The Posture of a Leader

 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42.

Leadership literature is full of interesting quotations. “Leaders are Doers.” Is one favourite quotation. We all desire to make a difference by doing things and commending others who do things. When I was growing up, one of mother’s favourite quotation was, “Don’t just stand there; Do something.” I can almost hear her admonition ringing in my ears, as I write these words. Much of the leadership literature today is big on doing things; promoting oneself, taking initiative, looking for opportunities to lead and creating opportunities to lead, if they are none available. I love to do things as well. However, I am learning that while activity is almost idolised today; it is not always the best place to be all the time.

The story of Martha and Mary is a classic story about two women, in a culture very similar to the culture in most parts of Africa, parts of South America, Asia and Eastern Europe today; where women worked in the kitchen and entertained visitors through acts of service. Men sat around the guest and entertained them with words. Women on the other hand, were expected to stay in the background, to enhance the guest experience. Women were really not valued in that time and in many cases, were often ignored.

In the midst of these limitations; an important guest comes to visit Mary and Martha. He actually recognises them! Martha is concerned about all the arrangements, which is not a bad; but Mary chooses to let go of the preparations to sit to listen to the words of their special guest. The important guest who happens to be Jesus the King of Kings, changes the dynamics of the time, by visiting women, sharing words of wisdom and commending one of the women for her choice. He appreciates Martha’s effort but approves of Mary’s posture more. Mary has chosen what is better.

Successful leaders over the ages; have been recognised not only by their doings but more so by their posture. These leaders are aware of their limitations and have have realised that they can only be as successful as they are enabled to be. The doings are the fruit of their posture. The best way up for any leader is really down. True leadership success will only come as leaders learn to sit down.

adventure beautiful boardwalk bridge
Photo by Pixabay on


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s