It fuels me to invest in younger leaders. Often they come to me for my experience, but I always learn from them. But when I do meet with them, I end up repeating leadership insights I have given many times previously.
I’m a better leader because I intentionally invest in other leaders.
(There’s a hint for some of you more seasoned leaders. Want to grow as a leader? Find someone younger in whom you can invest.)
But it always seems the so-called wisdom I share gathers in seasons. When I say something to one pastor, I usually end up repeating it to another shortly afterwards.
Eventually, once I’ve repeated it several times, I write it down. The circumstances may be completely different, but the principles are much the same.
(There’s another hint there. Write down what you are learning. And especially if God is the teacher. I have a leadership book that is basically a culmination of this principle.)
And those common principles often become a blog post. In this post, I share some of the more common pieces of advice I tend to share.
7 of my most repeated leadership insights:
Copy principles not practices.
Principles are almost always transferable. Practices rarely are. You can’t be someone else as effectively as you can be yourself. You’ll lose if you try to compare yourself to someone else’s success.
Your success will likely look different from anyone else’s. And the comparison game is a terrible treadmill of disappointment.
Don’t trip over your own humility.
It’s great to be humble. I’d advise it if you want to please God. But don’t refuse to do the right thing because you’re afraid it appears to be self-serving.
I’ve seen so many pastors who don’t want to be accused of getting “credit” for something, so they do nothing at all. Tell that to people like Martin Luther King, Jr. Or Mother Theresa.
Do the right thing. Be humble. Then don’t brag on yourself.
(And sometimes they won’t even give you credit. Be okay then too.)
Limit your energy to a few key areas.
Delegate everything else. I’ve found I’m seldom effective past four or five major initiatives. Really three is a good number.
There are some leaders who think they are super-human. But they are almost always wrong and it is proven over time.
Don’t be afraid to make people wait for excellence.
I see leaders burnout and be far less effective because they try to do everything at once. It’s okay to say no. In fact, it’s actually healthy. I love the phrase “Caged Momentum“. I’m not at all saying do nothing, but waiting until it’s the right time may bring more people on board and keep you from overextending yourself or the church/organization.
If you lack energy inside the building – Get outside the building.
I see pastors get so frustrated at the lack of progress. They beat themselves up because things aren’t changing fast enough. They lose their energy dealing with the negativity of change.
I say to those pastors, get back to the coffee shops. Talk to people outside the church. Fuel yourself among the darkness of a hurting world which is changing faster than we can capture on the nightly news.
It’s actually what most of us have been called to do. Make disciples. Spread light. And when the disciples in the church start arguing over potlucks, get outside – into the community and refuel your passion with people searching for hope.
And watch your energy rise.
Invest in a few key leaders.
You can’t invest effectively in everyone who’s trying to follow you. Jesus had lots of followers. He had 12 disciples.
All of these could be their own complete blog post. I’ve spent as much as an hour talking about each one to pastors. Which would you want me to expand upon?