Meet Ruthie. She is a senior adult who has the energy and enthusiasm of a millennial. Ruthie is a leader in an organization that speaks into the lives of those who are hurting. During a recent leadership strategy meeting, Ruthie gave us a little insight to her unyielding drive to serve others; she said, "All of my life, my momma consistently taught me to love people." This did not surprise me. It's what she said next that caused me to pause. She continued, "But momma also said if you can't love them, don't hurt them.” 

Think about those words of wisdom. In a world full of selfish ambition and self profiting agendas, where the name of the game is to win at all cost, Ruthie's momma offered a true leader's mindset. How often do we stop to consider the effects of our words, attitude or behavior on others? How many times do we make decisions that are solely in our best interest with little or no regard for the consequences that others will endure? 

As leaders, we will encounter those who are hard to lead and even harder to love. Our response to those individuals will define our character, integrity and ultimately our ability to influence. It takes mental discipline to assess the negative effects of our actions on those we really don't love. It takes sheer will to do the right thing concerning those who may not be doing the right thing.  

Ruthie's story contains hard times, difficult decisions and unfair circumstances. Through it all she has maintained her momma's brilliant mantra. Think about those difficult people in your life…and when just can't love them, choose not to hurt them. That's how you will make a difference!