Category: Leadership Journey

Leadership Journey

Learn to Let Go

Learning to Let Go
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Leadership development is a growth process. Sometimes, leadership development is a glacially slow growth process.

One thing I have learned along the way (and I’m quite certain the people most responsible for my own leadership development experienced the same thing), sometimes letting go is the best move.

Not letting go and giving up.

Not letting go and walking away.

Not letting go and waiting for failure.

Let go and trust. Trust that growth can happen. Trust that mistakes made can lead to lessons learned. Trust the end result will be worth the effort.

Along the way, in order for you to have grown, someone had to trust you. Are you grateful for those opportunities? Are you ready to return the favor?

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Leadership Journey

Big Change Takes Time to Chew

leading change, big change takes time to chew
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I fancy myself a thinker. I enjoy looking at situations and dreaming up next steps. As such, I spend a large chunk of my time thinking and considering options.

Along the way, I’ve learned an important leadership principal:

big change takes time to chew

Just because I’ve spent countless hours thinking about a change I want to lead, does not mean the people around me and, more importantly, those from whom I need support in the change, have spent countless hours thinking about the change.

In fact, often times, I’m suggesting a change they may have never considered.

When I include other people in the planning and thinking process, three things happen:

They feel like part of the decision, because they are

When someone feels free to offer opposing views in a supportive way, solutions are more easily sought out and pursued.

They get to work through their hesitations

I cannot tell you how many times in my life I have initially bristled at a decision made by someone above me, only to realize the validity a little time later (sometimes hours, sometimes a few days).

They take ownership of the new direction

Decisions are implemented much more fluidly when leadership is on the same page. One body moving in the same direction proves more effective than chaos.

One Final Disclosure

I am not saying you let the people around you determine the direction, but instead you bring them to the table and treat them like their thoughts and opinions matter, because they do.

I am far from the world’s best at this, and still regularly make mistakes, BUT I do know enough to say: do not let the people around you choke on the big changes, because big change takes time to chew.

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Leadership Journey

Develop Leaders

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Over the past few years I have noticed a shift in my focus on leadership. As my own leadership has grown, I find myself looking for ways to help others.

This does not mean that everything I do has provided excellent results. Nor have my efforts been error free. But, as I have learned to start developing young leaders around me, and as leaders around me have done the same, I have noticed one thing.

Leadership education happens in a classroom. Leadership development happens through experience.

Educating leaders is not an unworthy task. In fact, as I talked about here, I believe leaders should develop a habit of consistent learning. So, there is a definite place for the classroom in leadership development.

However, knowledge of a subject does not lead to experience in the subject. We cannot neglect real world leading as a teaching tool if we desire to develop leaders.

Each summer over the past four years I have taken a group of students on a leadership trip. The trip is very education focused, and it serves a great purpose. But only recently have I started understanding the importance of giving these student leaders opportunities to lead.

Then, when students (or adults), have an opportunity to lead, they grow. And that’s my goal–to develop leaders.

Develop leaders, don’t just educate them.

 

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Leadership Journey, Uncategorized

The Why Means More Than The What

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Today I’m going to go out on a limb. I do not know if this is a solid leadership principle, or just something that’s true in my life, but here we go.

Sometimes, the why behind a decision carries more weight than the what.

I do not believe in doing things just for the sake of doing something. Instead, I try to think through reasons and make the best choice moving forward.

In the same way, a well thought out reason for doing something, even if I don’t agree with it, speaks to me more than a blind mandate.

The principle is simple: think about what you’re doing, don’t just do it. This does not negate reflexes or instincts, but it means count the cost. You will not be able to foresee every possibility, but having a solid reason to answer the “why” question is a necessity.

As a leader, I want those I lead to know I have put thought into an idea, a thought, a program, or whatever else.

Now, I want to hear from you! Do you agree or disagree? Do you perform better when you know thought has been put into a decision? Comment below and let me know.

 

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Incoherent Ramblings, Leadership Journey

Trust the Process, A Follow-Up

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Okay, let me clarify a little from Tuesday’s post, especially for my friend at Red Phog (follow him on Twitter here).

With any process, there is one major variable to keep in mind: context matters.

Context is everything, especially in leadership. As we lead people, we understand that no two people are the same, and that everyone responds in a unique way.

I have served at five different churches over my time in ministry. No body of believers is the same. My roles at each church have varied based on the needs of the church.

What worked at one place may not work at another because you’re dealing with a new set of people, a new cultural context, and a new set of experiences.

For example, at my current church we take a short service trip over Spring Break and it is very well attended. At my last church, the majority of families traveled over spring break, so the same trip would not have worked as well.

Context matters. Be careful to blindly institute a process without first understanding the context in which you’re serving.

But sometimes, with experience and evaluation of the situation, it’s okay to trust the process.

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