Five things you get as a leader: If you are a real leader don’t expect a parade!

This is a repost from September 2009 in my Leadership Series.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

(Philippians 2:1-11 ESV)

Really, sometimes I wonder if we who lead in any capacity get it at all. Jesus came to serve and lay down His life for His Father’s mission. We want perks for minimal sacrifice! Here is list of five things that you will get instead of your parade:

  1. Legacy: whether its a good one or bad one is not the question. What you do will impact and last beyond you. You can be an inspiration, pleasant memory or the fart caught up in a whirlwind.
  2. Pushback: even those who are on your side from time to time will press against you. Then, there are those who are competing against your very mission in life. Count on being pushed back–whether friendly fire or not it will come.
  3. Loneliness: there will be some decisions, seasons and issues that you have to be the last man (or woman) standing on. Its not lonely at the top, its lonely at the sewer where real leadership happens.
  4. Fatigue: I need not say too much here. Its tiring when you are thinking through, praying through leadership of people. Do not think you can coast or be comfortable. Managing fatigue is a major responsibility of leadership.
  5. Reward: you may not get your parade this side of heaven nor deserve one. But, what we suffer with Christ as we live His mission will indeed give us reward. You may get reward this side of heaven, actually. But, that is not gonna help you. It may hurt you if you ever feel entitled to it.

Do you have any additions or comments about this list?

Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.


  1. Your list is spot-on!  Thanks for re-posting!

  2. Your list is spot-on!  Thanks for re-posting!

  3. Your list is spot-on!  Thanks for re-posting!

  4. Your list is spot-on!  Thanks for re-posting!

  5. Your list is spot-on!  Thanks for re-posting!

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