The Christmas Story Slaps Traditional Authority in the Face
The story of Christmas is a slap in the face to traditional authority. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s true or myth. The story disrupts common ways of thinking.
Traditional authority expects others to adapt.
You might, for example, expect people to follow your instructions because you have position and authority. But the Christmas-way signals an accommodation of the greater to the lesser.
The one with greater authority adapts to those with less authority.
Adopt a greater to lesser approach:
#1. Resolve to connect by adapting.
The list of terrifying ways God might show up doesn’t include infant. The Christmas story reflects an invitation for connection.
You might expect those with less authority to adapt to you. But the first Christmas is greater authority adapting to lesser authority for the purpose of knowing and being known.
It’s tempting to spend your time buttering-up higher-ups. But the Christmas story elevates the lower downs.
Tip: Nurture your relationship with higher ups AND strengthen your connection with team members.
The temptation to focus on those who bring you advantage becomes disadvantage when your team feels disrespected.
How might you strip away the trappings and protocols of authority that block connection?
#2. Take initiative.
Authority tends to stand aloof, to feel superior. But the first Christmas illustrates the greater moving first and moving toward.
Grant yourself permission to move first. Don’t wait for others to come to you. Move toward connection.
Show up so frequently that:
- People aren’t nervous when they see you coming.
- You know people’s names.
- People feel free to speak the truth, even if it’s difficult.
- You can encourage people because you know what they’re working on.
#3. Don’t abdicate.
A greater to lesser approach is about relationship, not the abdication of responsibility. You still need to make decisions, have tough conversations, and clarify direction.
The Christmas-way depends more on relationship than position and authority.