Imbalance teachings on success in the last couple of years have dwell on the notion that you can only be a success when you are the number one person. Topics such as ‘how to be your own boss’; ‘how to sack your boss’; ‘being the head and not tail’; ‘starting your own ministry’ and ‘how to work under nobody’ have all gained ground and many youths that should still be serving successfully under leaders have all became their own boss, church CEOs and Apostles to the world!
Unfortunately, these imbalance emphases have rather helped disloyalty, breakaway and rebellion in churches and ministries. It’s now time to bring the needed balance and emphasize that you can be successful as a number two.
A.Biblical Basis and Definition – II Kings 5:10-14; I King 18:1-6, I Peter 2:18-19; Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-24.
There is dignity in being a number two person. While leadership is a calling, followership is also a calling. I Cor. 7:20-24. God has not called all of us to lead from the front. All cannot be the head. Great leaders are followers – they follow the Lord and good leaders.
To be number two is to be a subordinate, associate, helper, assistant, staff, worker, adviser and to work with or for a leader. The servants of Naaman helped him to attain His miracle. Obadiah was also a good associate to wicked king Ahab.
üBeing number two is a good and difficult position to be
üYou can help your leader to find success and achievement
üYou can influence your leader towards good works
üYou have power for good and bad
üYour leader is not your problem but the spirit within you
üGod always wants His leaders to serve apprenticeship. I Sam. 18:5
B. Why Many Associates are Finding Success Very Difficult – II Tim. 4:10; III John 10-11
I have known many associates who are suffering today simply because they are number one in their own plan, whereas they should have been number two in God’s plan. Why do many associates fail as number two?
zWrong spirit and ‘bad belle’ within them
zCovetousness and greed – a Judas
zPersonal problems with sin and ungodliness
zInstigations from wife, friends and counselors
zImpatience and hurry spirit
zWrong motives and secret agendas
zFailure to see good and merit in your leader
zPride, rebellious spirit and looking down on your leader
zDisrespect, ungrateful spirit and unthankful
Too many associates are breaking away, stabbing their leaders in the back and incurring curses simply because they could not overcome these factors. Many of them are struggling financially in ministry after the euphoria of a flying start simply because they should still be number two somewhere.
C.How to Become An Asset to Your Leader – Phil. 2:19-22; 25-30, Rom. 16:1-4; Philemon 1:10-11.
Timothy was a valuable asset to Apostle Paul in ministry. So also was Ephraphoditus, Phoebe, Aquila-Priscilla and a host of others. They serve with commitment, self-sacrifice and were ready to lay down their life for their beloved apostle.
Mark was formerly a liability to Paul, but over the years, he became profitable and Paul had to send for him. II Tim. 4:11; Prov. 25:13. An asset displays the following:
ËMakes the vision of the leader his vision
ËFaithful in all things
ËObedient and teachable
ËRuns from sin and shameful things
ËImbibe the spirit of his leader
ËTakes initiative for progress
ËBrings something to the table
ËServes without grumbling and murmuring
ËProductive and result oriented
ËHonest and transparent with the leader
ËIncrease and add to the leader
ËTrustworthy and refuses to break trust
ËNot after gain and profit
When you are an asset to your leader, you can never serve in vain. God Himself will reward you. Your blessing, favour, open door and promotion lies in being a true asset to your leader. Proverbs 27:18
D.How To Be a Successful Number Two
1.Be convinced to follow and work with your leader
If you are not convinced by God, go and pray again
2.Value your calling as a number two
Cherish your calling, value it and determine to succeed with it. Rather, be a Jonathan than an Atiku. A Joshua than a Joab.
3.Work on yourself
Improve, grow and change where necessary. Don’t be an ignoramous associate. Be current and informed so as to assist your leader.
4.Make His dream your dream
Having another vision is tantamount to di-vision
5.Start leading from where you are
Lead up – wisely influence your leader right
Lead down – help your subordinate to rise up
Lead sideways – contribute to your colleague’s success
6.Show necessary respect and honour
If you honour your leader, God himself will honour you
7.Show and demonstrate loyalty, honesty and a full dedicated heart
If your heart is right, every other thing will become right
8.Show that you really want your leader to succeed
As your leader rises, so also you will rise. His success is definitely your success.
9.Bring something to the table
Contribute ideas, advice and support for the vision. Speak the truth and laid bare the facts when your leader is receptive. Be a funnel not filter.
10.Defend your leader always
Don’t wait around to hear unpalatable things being said about him. Build a good relationship with him and pray for him unceasingly.
11.Take care and protect your leader – I Sam. 26:12-16
Abner failed to take care of Saul and David said he is worthy of death. Take care and keep your leader spiritually, financially, materially and by nurture.
12.Receive ongoing blessing from your leader – I Sam. 26:17-25
David behaved well until he received blessing from King Saul.
You must also behave well until your leader will bless you. Don’t leave without his heartfelt blessings.
Dr. Bola Akin-John Started Church Growth Ministry in 1994 after hearing God said “go and strengthen pastors and support churches to grow and be healthy”. Has held hundreds of conferences across Nigeria, Africa and Europe with combined attendance of over 30, 000 church leaders.
Has written over 35 books that has sold thousands of copies