Oil and Water – Leadership and Jealousy


Jealousy is often defined as being envious or resentful of the good fortune or achievements of another. It has commandeered a many soul into sabotaging the progress, success, and health of families, business, and nations. It alone has destroyed more relationships than can be counted. It arises from the depths of selfishness and insecurity. It is a deadly poison that ultimately destroys its host.

Jealousy is a rival spirit that can look at a coworker, family member, as a competitor instead of a co-laborer. We may want our business to succeed but we want to make sure that we get the glory. A jealous person is more interested in themselves receiving the attention then the company. That means, they would rather see the company fail if it meant its success rewarded attention to someone else other than themselves.

Jealousy will pervert one’s judgment of another’s motives. When another is receiving praise the jealous person will think “who do they think they are?” In reality, the person may not think they are anything special but their work has promoted them in some form or fashion.

In Moody’s Anecdotes, pp. 44-45 the following was told.

There is a fable of an eagle which could out fly another, and the other didn’t like it. The latter saw a sportsman one day, and said to him:
“I wish you would bring down that eagle.” The sportsman replied that he would if he only had some feathers to put into the arrow. So the eagle pulled one out of his wing. The arrow was shot, but didn’t quite reach the rival eagle; it was flying too high. The envious eagle pulled out more feathers, and kept pulling them out until he lost so many that he couldn’t fly, and then the sportsman turned around and killed him. My friend, if you are jealous, the only man you can hurt is yourself.

We must understand it is never a one man show. We don’t make it to the top alone nor do we fail alone. People that surround us provide support by adding to or taking away and thus deteriorating our effectiveness. Quality in our friends, co-workers, associates, and consultants, can never be underestimated. Proper vetting is worth the time and investment that will reward us with success, less regret, and fewer painful experiences.

Jealousy is the number one tool of destruction that brings about the demise of a person who otherwise could have been impactful in increasing the forward progress in a church, organization, and community. Not everyone can be number one. That doesn’t mean that number two, three, and four are of no value. Leadership is the power of influence. Understanding my role in a church, government, or organization, and knowing the value of my God-given gifts and talents goes a long way in keeping my mind free from the cataracts of jealousy perverting my vision.

One thing to remember, when I know the success is not about me getting the glory, that my happiness is to see the success of the whole, then satisfaction will keep me in the lane of my contribution.

Whether your title is the CEO or the water boy, without your contribution it will not run effectively. Nor, does it work when the water boy tries to be the CEO. Stay in the lane where you have been placed until another door opens. ©

– Dr. Reuben Egolf


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