Incoherent Ramblings, Leadership Journey

Motivation and Leadership

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Let’s talk about Student Leadership today. More specifically, let’s talk about developing Students with leadership potential.

Over the past 5 years I have had a student leadership team of some sort. The intensity has increased each year as I try to find the right balance between commitment and over commitment.

A few years back, I thought differently about how to bring student leaders into the fold. There were a couple of girls who I thought showed incredible leadership potential, so I went to them and invited them to apply for the leadership team. They did, and what unfolded over the next year was unexpected.

“You cannot motivate people to do something they don’t want to do.” This statement was the focus of a conversation I had last week, and something that has been bouncing around my head ever since.

I think the temptation we have as leaders is to believe we CAN motivate people. We are good with words, maybe even charming. But the truth of the statement above shows us motivation does not last. Instead, we need to find people who are motivated and equip them.

This is the struggle I found in student leadership years ago. I saw potential in a few, but they were not motivated to be part of our leadership team, so things went south over time.

Now I focus my energy on the kids who show some level of motivation. I may not have as many, and I still see potential in others, but the fruit comes from the motivated ones.

So, as you look around your leadership realm, who are you pouring effort into but they simply lack the motivation? Who around you shows a level of motivation? How can you pour into and strengthen them?

One last thought: everyone is motivated to do something. The challenge for us as leaders, and as church leaders especially, is to get to know people well enough to discover what motivates them. Build relationships. Love the individual. Help them grow.

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