The Redundancy of Leadership

Share this:
Share

Do you know the hardest part of writing a blog? The consistency of having to write another post. It comes up three times each week, like clockwork.

Ministry is the same. Sunday is always right around the bend (or Wednesday for many youth ministers).

Farming was the same. No matter how many years in a row you planted a seed, the next year it was time to plant it again.

I imagine CPAs have the same feeling. Regardless of how hard you work from January to April 15 one year, the next year you will have to work just as hard.

But in the midst of the mundane, there is beauty. In the midst of the repetition, there is opportunity.

Something a mentor pointed out to me not long ago is what he called the “redundancy of leadership.”

What does that mean? Simple: a major part of leadership is repetition.

Take, for instance, the three questions (you can read about them here). The three questions work great when you use them one time, but they find their greatest impact when they are asked and answered on a regular basis. The more frequently you answer them, the more integral they become to your leadership style and effectiveness.

The problem, however, is when redundancy carries a negative connotation. Who likes getting their teeth cleaned every six months? Or, who enjoys shooting hundreds of free throws? Or, what parent anticipates the excitement of yet another dirty diaper?

The redundancy of leadership means having the same conversation over and over. Sometimes the audience changes, but sometimes the message and audience remain the same.

The redundancy of leadership means yet again casting vision for your organization, even though you did it last week, or last month, or last year, or all of the above.

This week, embrace the redundancy. Find the beauty in the mundane. Excavate the excitement of the repetitive. And, above most other things, hang in there.

Would you like to receive these posts in your email? Sign up here.

 

Check it Out: Develop Leaders

Share this:
Share

Today’s link back goes to a post talking about the how of developing leaders. Here’s a clip, click here for the rest.

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.

 

Practicing the 3 Questions

Share this:
Share

I had a humbling experience last week. One of my peers in youth ministry, who has been a big supporter of my blog to this point, posted a picture of his computer screen. What made it humbling was the side of his monitor where he had written the 3 questions on a sticky note and left it there as a reminder. (Click here if you’re not sure what the 3 Questions are.)

Then, another peer commented he had them written on his white board, and I was struck by something.

Perception makes all the difference.

I have been using these three questions as a way to equip and encourage student leaders for a little over a year, but how well do I apply them to my own life?

If I were going to be honest with you (and why wouldn’t I?), I wrestle with the exact same part of the three questions as most of my students: the third question.

I’m a wonderful analyzer, and I have a stubborn streak that tends to say “I’ll do this myself”, but I fail time and time again at asking and answering the third question.

But if I’m serious about growing my own leadership influence, I have to start somewhere.

And one thing I know, when I do ask and answer the third question, I love to watch what happens. I love seeing people find a spot to serve. I love equipping others to step up and meet needs.

Ultimately, the three questions are what we use them to be. We can train student leaders, or adults. But, most importantly, we can use them to grow as leaders ourselves.

Look for ways to answer the three questions in your personal life today.

Lessons from the Big Chair: Listen

Share this:
Share

The church where I serve has been without a pastor since January, and I have had the privilege of serving alongside an incredibly wise, discerning, and experienced interim pastor over the past four months. As that time has drawn to an end and we have a new pastor coming next week, I thought I would spend some time reflecting on a few lessons I learned along the way.

I’ll never forget playing bass at a July 4th concert when I was in college. The band I was in had the opportunity to play as an opener for a Church organized July 4th event. The group playing after us featured an incredible guitar player.

Because he was friends with a couple of guys in our group, he decided to play one or two songs with us, having never played or practiced with us at all, and he nailed it.

I’ve never been the kind of musician who can play by ear, but this guy could. While he was playing some incredible licks, he was also listening to what was happening in the song, and could anticipate what came next.┬áThat was important.

So many times, we get too busy to listen.

And that was one of the most practical lessons I learned during our interim–sometimes the best thing to do is to stop and listen. People want to be heard, to know their voice matters.

Leadership is no different. Until we learn to take the time to listen to what is going on around us, to weigh the possibilities, and to evaluate the potential, it will be difficult to lead other people.

If someone suggests a change and I brush it off as unnecessary without full consideration, then my leadership influence takes a hit.

If someone offers a suggestion and I choose to not even consider it, my leadership influence suffers.

But most importantly, when I take the time to listen to someone’s story, I’m able to understand them better.

If you’re serious about increasing your leadership ability, take time today to listen.

Lessons from the Big Chair: Passion Paves the Way

Share this:
Share

The church where I serve has been without a pastor since January, and I have had the privilege of serving alongside an incredibly wise, discerning, and experienced interim pastor over the past four months. As that time has drawn to an end and we have a new pastor coming in a few weeks, I thought I would spend some time reflecting on a few lessons I learned along the way.

Today’s lesson is more of an observation than any conversation we had: Passion paves the way.

I like routine. I like consistency and predictability. So, when our interim came in and started recommending changes, I was naturally a little hesitant. But, over time, I started to notice something.

The changes being made were not being made for no reason, but there was passion behind the motivation. For me, when I begin to see someone’s passion, I get excited and passionate as well.

There’s a downside to this learning, because sometimes passion is misguided and downright wrong. But when hearts are pure, passion paves the way.

Our interim was passionate about a few things, and because of that, those topics continually resurfaced in conversations. He made an impact as he moved forward with passion, and people started to line up behind him and follow.

Where is your passion leading? Is it leading to a greater sense of self-worth? Is it leading to a false sense of self-importance? Or is your passion leading others to get better, to grow, and to know Christ better?

Like this? Subscribe here to get 3 Question Leadership posts in your inbox.