I have a heart for leaders; especially church leaders. I’d love to help others learn from my experience, including my mistakes. In fact, investing in other leaders is a huge motivation for this blog and a lot of my ministry.
With this in mind, I want to share a few things I’ve learned over the years. While these are simple concepts, they are huge principles in leadership. Miss these and you’ll find yourself struggling in places in leadership you wish you weren’t. Remember them and they’ll save you some headaches.
I hope this proves helpful.
7 simple leadership tips:
Fight fewer battles where the win doesn’t matter as much.
This was learned the very hard way. This is also hard, because usually people are bringing the battle to you. You are the leader and they expect you to do something about it. But, in reality the petty complaints, the constant grumbling are really nothing new. Read the Old Testament. People are people and wherever there are people there will be drama.
The key is to remember the over all vision. What’s the end goal? Go for that and don’t be distracted by the things, which really won’t even matter in eternity. Stick to the dominion you’ve been given and stay out of the fringe issues, which don’t matter as much.
Don’t try to duplicate as much as you emulate.
The connotation of duplicate is to be just like. When someone emulates they are trying to match the level of success, but in their individual context. And, that won’t necessarily be achieved in the same way. It’s okay to emulate another person’s success. You can even learn from them, but when you try to duplicate their success you’ll often end up disappointed.
This is so important. You are not someone else. You are not the last leader nor the next leader. You are you. You’ll stress less about your progress if you drop the comparison game and be who God designed you to be.
Lead with leaders.
The more you surround yourself with people capable of leading others, the greater the impact your leadership can have.
It means you’ll have to delegate. You can’t control everything. You must empower other people. You’ll be incredibly blessed when you see the church and its leadership capacity grow, because you were humble enough to get out of the way.
Your downtime is gold. Protect your gold.
And, that’s true more than you ever imagined. I so wish pastors would learn this one – if none of the other.
Don’t neglect your Sabbath. It’s not simply Biblical – it’s highly practical. Discipline yourself to build sufficient rest into your schedule. When you’re tired you will never lead at your best level. And, you, the church, and everyone in your life will suffer.
“Above all protect your heart, for out of it come all the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Think it’s a marathon not a sprint.
You will have bad days. There will be critics. People will perform badly as people do – including you.
You will send a dumb email. You will say the wrong thing. You will plan a project and it will totally bomb.
On those days, remind yourself of the bigger vision. Regroup. Rest. Recharge. Go at it again tomorrow.
Stop trying to control every outcome.
The fact is you’ll seldom be able to anyway. When you try to control things people will either rebel or never live up to their potential. Either way you are disappointed.
Control the vision. Locks arms around where you know God says you are supposed to go, but almost everything else, you can release to the people around you.
Be authentic – in everything.
Don’t be partially authentic – be totally authentic. People will trust you more if you are who you claim to be – and you are that way always.
Don’t try to make yourself bigger than you are. People can easily spot the margin between the portrayed you and the real you. And, the greater the margin the less you’ll build trust in those you hope will follow.