If you’ve been to a high school, college or pro sporting event recently, you’ve probably heard the crowd yell this progressive chant. The chant begins with “I,” then “I believe,” followed by “I believe that.” The progression continues with “I believe that we” and finally ends with “I believe that we will win!” That final phrase is then chanted over and over. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a video of the chant from the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
At a recent high school volleyball match that my daughter was playing in, the opposing student fans began the same chant. However, at the pinnacle of the chant they changed the words. Instead of “I believe that we will win,” they started chanting “I believe that you will lose.” Wow, that took me aback. I immediately wanted to chant “I believe that you are poor sports!” The chanting team lost, by the way J.
Here’s the reality for us as leaders. As much as we would all probably say, “How wrong for those kids to chant like that,” we have to admit that we do it ourselves at times. We tell our teammates through our criticism that we believe that they will lose. We tell our employees through our lack of trust that we believe that they will lose. We tell our children through our focus on their mistakes that we believe that they will lose. We think we’re doing them all a favor. We think that we’re helping. I know, because I fall into the trap myself at times.
However, friends, we really aren’t. It’s not that we can’t criticize or reprimand our employees or kids, but we have to really look at how much equity we have built up and how we are communicating.
Way before we can ever think about criticizing or reprimanding, leaders need to recognize the 4 most important words that we can ever utter: “I believe in you.” We need to be shouting from the highest mountaintop that I believe that you will win. I believe in you. When you’ve done that enough, then you have the equity to shape, mold and coach your employee in areas of weakness.
My prayer for you is that you will begin today to pray about, evaluate and take steps of advancement to being a leader known for frequently uttering “I believe in you! I believe that you will win!”
One last note on this score is that we serve a God who believes in us, too. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you” (John 15:16). Be a leader who produces fruit and believes that those you lead will produce fruit as well!
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Live well. Lead well.
Eric Rojas loves his role as the executive pastor of Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL, where he oversees a staff of 120 and serves alongside Senior Pastor Jim Nicodem. He has been on staff at CCC since 2000.
During his 20+ years of ministry, Rojas has served in churches as a youth pastor, adult ministries pastor, small groups pastor, associate pastor, worship pastor and men’s pastor.
He is a contributing author for Group Publishing’s Men’s Ministry in the 21st Century and has written for various magazines and websites.
Rojas also serves the church-at-large through consulting and seminar presenting.
He has been married to his wife, Rachel, for 22 years. They have 3 children — Luke, 21; Adam, 19; and Chloe, 17.
A man of faith, Rojas believes that next year is the year the Cubs will finally win the World Series.