Several wrote that a young leader should “leave his ego at home” or something similar. I agree with that too, but I think the issue here is more of the motivation of a person’s heart, not in their objective. There is nothing is wrong with a person wanting to grow in their leadership and influence, provided their motivation is for good and God’s glory, not their own. I do not think there is anything wrong with a young leader desiring to improve his or her skills as a leader or in their desire to become the best leader he or she can be. In fact, I would encourage it. We approve of this ideology in other fields, such as the area of sports, so why not in the area of leadership?
This morning, thanks to my Google Reader, I landed on an editorial story by Ed Wallace of Business Week Online. You can read the story HERE. Ed writes from an insider’s perspective about the reasons for the fall of General Motors. His insight is of a company who faced problems of arrogance and indifference, failing to meet the changing needs of its consumers. He saw a company that allowed the quality of their product to suffer while refusing to listen to concerns of insiders who were suggesting improvements.
In my pursuit for consistent improvement in my own life I am opening myself up to new approach. I will attempt to ask more questions to keep people accountable. I will visit people’s offices more frequently. I will eat more lunches with my staff. I will do a better job of tracking individual progress. It is not a matter of trust but a matter of recognizing the responsibility that I have been given and the individuality of the people I lead.
One of the most damaging expressions in a team environment is the phrase “that’s not my job” or “that’s not my area of responsibility”. Thankfully I have never heard that said at Grace Community Church. Sadly it is far too common in organizations that claim to be a team environment. I talk with people on staffs frequently who feel they are on an island by themselves within the organization and no one ever helps them think through a problem, recruit volunteers for their area, or lend a hand during crunch times.
I believe and practice the concept of team leadership. I want people in our organization that will assume ownership of an individual task and follow through with the responsibility of seeing projects completed well. We have a shared leadership philosophy at Grace Community Church and I have posted about the need for a leader to “give their vision away” to people he or she trust to make it better.
At the same time, our church has continued to grow and the needs for our ministries are greater than ever. This season has forced us to find ways to do more with less. We need to continue to train our people, learn new ways of doing things and keep up with current trends, but we can no longer afford to attend all the conferences we once could.
The best life, community and spiritual growth happens at Grace Community Church within the context of our small group ministry. We have some amazing leaders of our small groups. I’m always encouraged by their willingness to sacrifice part of them to invest in other people. I know each of them would say, however, that they receive far more in return than they give up. Serving others is like that.
Today I want to put a contextual spin on the issue for the area of spiritual growth. I know lots of believers, especially early in their Christian walk, who think they should instantly have spiritual maturity shortly after being saved. Spiritual growth is a process that takes years of discipleship.