A while back, my wife and I had dinner in a legendary BBQ restaurant just south of Atlanta. When we showed up to meet our friends, we were surprised to find that, due to a faulty transformer, there was no electricity in the place, However, the setback did not deter the restaurant owner who was prepared to accommodate us, even without the benefit of lights.

As we were seated, the waitress brought a kerosene lantern and sat it on our table along with a couple of candles. While unexpected, the whole scenario turned out to be great for me. I was able to count it as a camping trip as well as a candlelight dinner with my wife.

Mother Teresa once said, “In order to keep the lamp burning, you have to keep putting oil in it.”

Thankfully, at the BBQ joint, Johnny had his lantern full of kerosene. Therefore, light was available.

I know many leaders who seem to forget this principle. They give, give, give without refilling their lamp and then wonder why they find themselves struggling with burnout.

If you want to be a great leader of others, you must first lead yourself.

(Warning: The hardest person you will ever lead is yourself)

The next few days week we are going to look at some different ways to refill our leadership lamps.


Because “in order to keep your lamp burning, you have to keep putting oil in it.”



Author: Randy

Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.