To say I’m in a new season of personal leadership development would be an understatement.
I stumbled onto the three questions almost by accident, but at my last church was able to establish a culture of leadership and service that fit really well with the mindset of the three questions.
But, ironically, I’m really weak at answering the third question.
If you haven’t already, or even in a while, click here to read about the three questions. But, as a reminder, they are:
- What needs to be done (awareness)
- What can I do (willingness)
- Who can I get to help (leadership)
I’ve written about this before, but a great tension exists when you feel competent and capable of accomplishing something but want to empower people around you. I find the tension is even greater when it’s something I thoroughly enjoy doing.
I am constantly amazed, however, at how something I may be able to do competently, someone else can do excellently. So, when push comes to shove, if I’m not asking people around me to help, I’m saying that I’m satisfied with mediocrity. Unfortunately, more times than I would care to admit, I am.
Back to personal leadership development. I find myself living in the tension of what is and what could be. Mediocrity or excellence. But the excellence comes at a price–my ego. If I’m not willing to ask the third question, then my leadership stalls.
True leadership is not about elevating ourselves. True leadership is about equipping those we lead to elevate above us. I want to equip people (students and adults, in my context) to excel at what they do, even if it’s something I enjoy doing. I’m not here to run a one man show, although that seems to be what my actions often communicate.
The same is true for you. There are people around you who are ready to step up and serve, but you have to put forth the effort of inviting them to the table, of building the relationship to know what they’re willing to do, and of asking them to help. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Do the difficult work of equipping those around you to elevate above you, and watch your leadership influence increase.