What George Bailey Taught us

Leadership. What is your style? There are several styles. There are autocratic, situational, transactional, and transformational, to name a few. Regardless of your leadership style, there is one style all great leaders must own. They must have. It is servant leadership. 

To be a servant leader, you do one thing. You serve others. You are selfless, devoted to others, and have a cause greater than you. And because you lead with this method, people will be more likely to follow. Of course, you must bring more than a servant’s heart, but leading becomes hard without genuine care. 

During this time of year – the holidays, one servant leader comes to mind. The man’s name is George Bailey. Yes, that George Bailey from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. If you have never seen the movie, please do. This movie rates as one of the top 100 films of all time by the American Film Institute. It teaches us many lessons: selflessness, perseverance, loyalty, friendship, teamwork, faith, and trust. It teaches us servant leadership. 

George Bailey was a savior to the town of Bedford Falls. He served the entire town, saving lives and giving up his career for his brother. He turned down an excellent job to remain committed to the family business, which helped the town’s people, not necessarily George. During the depression, George gave his money away to community members to keep the loan business solvent. He thought of others instead of himself. Always. Then life turned, and George wanted to take his own life. 

Saved by his guardian angel, Clarence, George, through the help of Clarence, was able to see what Bedford Falls would look like if he took his life. It shook George to see his impact on everyone he touched and helped. Suicide averted. He had a wonderful life. 

Everyone loved George Bailey. He soon became the wealthiest man in Bedford Falls. Rich in every way. The town had come to George’s aid giving their money to George without concern. You see, without George, they had little. It was time for others to give back to George. 

There are several messages we can learn from the movie. 

• When you help others get what they want, you will get what you want. Every time. 

• Life is about fighting through the struggle. When you are going through hell, keep going. 

• Riches are not always about money. Be a good person. Do right. It will come full circle. 

• Character counts. George Bailey had great character. High morals. Ethical. 

• You must be you. Being authentic and genuine wins hearts. Be consistent. 

• You need others to help you. George had his family, the town, and Clarence, his angel

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