A Centurion once sent Jewish elders to seek Jesus and invite him to heal his son. The Jewish elders vouched for the Centurion, that he was worthy of any kindness from Jesus. They said he loved them and had built them a Synagogue. Because of his love and generosity, he was regarded with a lot of respect. As Jesus approached his house, the Centurion sent friends to Jesus saying he was not worthy that Jesus should come to his house. As a man of authority, he could tell his servants to do this, and they would. He did not have to be there to observe or micromanage them. Likewise, the Centurion believed that the authority of Jesus was legitimate, hence Jesus only needed to speak the world. Jesus marveled at such faith. The Centurion’s son was healed.
People can sense when you love them genuinely. Love precedes your generosity which in turn breeds respect. The legitimacy of your leadership is earned and not given. You can’t not love an employee, and expect them to respect you. They are watching. They can tell. You can’t ask your followers to do all the work while you just sit high, giving orders. As a leader, love compels you to roll up your sleeves, lean in, and do some heavy lifting yourself. Love compels you to be generous with your time and effort. Love + Generosity = Legitimate Leadership