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7 Occasions I Submit to People I Lead

By August 29, 2022Church, Leadership

I’m a leader. Yet, many times I submit to people I lead.

We need good leadership. I might even say without leadership – in a big picture perspective – nothing of great value ever happens. I spend a bulk of this blog trying to speak into the practice of good leadership.

But, as much as leadership is important, without good followers nothing of great value ever happens either.

Good leadership understands this reality and puts it into practice.

So, at times, really many times, I submit my authority to people who are supposedly looking to me for leadership. I let others lead me.

Here are 7 occasions I submit to people I lead:

When I have no strong opinion.

If nothing inside of me says this is wrong or I have no real opinion about it, then I yield to this on the team who have a strong passion. I trust their gut.

When someone else knows more than I do.

This happens more than you could imagine. I try to surround myself with people smarter than me about different areas. Why would I not rely on them for the expertise they have, which I don’t have?

When I want to give someone an opportunity.

Now let’s be honest. It could be an opportunity to fail. This may be why some leaders never delegate authority. But, sometimes the only way we learn is by trying and falling short. Some of the best discoveries are learned this way.

When others have thought about something more than I have.

There are so many things which happen within our church (and probably your church or organization) where I simply do not have the time or the margin to commit to processing. I have to trust people. Sometimes, I have to yield to other people because they have more time investment in an issue than I do.

When others have to live with the consequences.

If it is more about their individual area of ministry and doesn’t impact other areas of the church then I am more likely to delegate authority to them.

When I’m already overwhelmed.

To be effective as a leader – and to last for the long haul – I need to know I can only do what I can do. I have to trust the people God has allowed me to surround myself with with what they can do. I know I need their help to help me prioritize my best efforts towards things only I can do.

Whenever I can.

Seriously. Good leadership involves empowerment. It’s delegating authority and allowing people to grow in their responsibility. So, when I have the opportunity, I’ll let people make decisions without my input.

It’s important to understand, as a leader I’m delegating my authority, but I’m not relegating my authority. I’m not diminishing the fact I am the senior leader and ultimately responsible for the overall vision and direction of our church. (Under God’s authority, of course.) The team needs to know they are not alone. I will support them in the decisions they make.

Check out my leadership podcast where we discuss issues of leadership in a practical way. Plus, check out the other Lifeway Leadership Podcasts.

Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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