3 Ways to Make the Most of Mistakes

Share this:
Share

A while back, at a previous church, I realized I had been making the wrong announcement for a month. Well, maybe not the wrong announcement, but taking the wrong approach.

We had a community outreach opportunity coming up, and one of the key elements for pulling it off was having church members fill eggs with candy. But, too late in the process, I realized we could have been encouraging our members to fill eggs AND invite people from our community. Simple enough, right?

Part of leadership is realizing and admitting you make mistakes. Some mistakes, like failing to emphasize the inviting nature of an outreach event, are relatively minor, something we might consider to be simply missed opportunities. Other mistakes carry consequences, like hesitating to schedule an event and losing the opportunity to make it the best possible as a result.

So, today, how do we overcome mistakes or missed opportunities? Here are 3 things I have learned over the years.

  1. Admit It. More than likely everyone knows you made a mistake, so admit it. Few things are more difficult than following a leader who never admits to doing anything wrong. Admitting mistakes is a sign of maturity, humility and humanity.
  2. Own It. There is a slight difference between admitting you made a mistake and owning your mistake, but there’s a difference. When we learn to own our mistakes, we take responsibility for the new course we are on. When we take ownership of the mistake, we are then able to evaluate and move forward.
  3. Grow From It. Most people would prefer to follow someone who admits their mistakes, but few people will continue to follow a leader who always makes mistakes. Learn from the mistakes you make by evaluating what you could do differently, and fix it the next time.

The bottom line is this: you will make mistakes. Everyone does. You will miss opportunities. Everyone does. But what you do on the back side is what will set you apart as a leader.

Grow in your leadership today. Learn from your mistakes and missed opportunities.

Is This The Hardest Part 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 two 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.

Is This What’s Missing In Your Leadership?

Share this:
Share

Is leadership that is not expanding truly leadership?

Bear with me for a minute.

If I’m teaching students to ask and answer the three questions but it stops there, is my leadership influence growing? Even more pointedly, if the students I’m leading are stopping short of answering the third question, aren’t we missing the point completely?

Leadership influence expands when more people fall into that influence. That means I can teach 10 people to grow their influence, or I can teach 10 people to grow their influence who in turn grow their influence by teaching 10 people each. At that point influence isn’t growing, it is multiplying. Like chills in the movie Grease.

Let’s get specific: if I pour into a leader who never into another leader around them, am I really pouring into a leader? Leadership influence is most efficient when we first lead ourselves and then lead others. And leadership influences multiplies when the people I have led begin to lead others.

But secret expectations are rarely met and almost never healthy. You know this. I know this.

How are you equipping those you lead to truly lead others? How are you inviting them to repeat the process?

Let me challenge you today. If you are a regular reader, find one person this week in whom you can start investing. It could be a student. It could be an adult. It could be your child, your spouse, or your neighbor. Teach them the three questions, and then add a fourth: who can I teach the three questions?

Don’t settle for addition. Aim for multiplication.

Can Bad Ideas Be Good For You?

Share this:
Share

I truly love working with teenagers. More often than not, I’ll listen to a kid preparing to share a wild idea they’ve had, and simply be filled with glee. Most of the time they know their idea is a stretch, but there’s always hope.

I’m the same way. Sometimes I toss out a bad idea just because I know it’s a bad idea and because I want some creative juices to start flowing. An outlandish statement helps me find my grounding principle.

I think we need to learn to sift through bad ideas in order to find the good ones. In fact, isn’t that the balance? We don’t know a good idea when it’s presented if we haven’t discovered bad ideas along the way.

When I share a bad idea with someone and they tell me so, it pushes me to keep thinking. I evaluate what makes it a bad idea. I try to tweak it, or decide to move on completely. At the end of the day, though, none of us are immune.

When someone shares a bad idea with me, it sparks my creativity. Is there a tweak to change the bad idea into a good one, or do we need to move in a different direction? It gets me thinking. It challenges me.

So today I want you to lean into your bad ideas. You don’t have to pursue them, but as you think through the situations you face, acknowledge your bad ideas in the process. I think it will help you know the good idea when you see it. But be gracious with yourself and with those around you.

Or, who knows. Maybe I’m wrong and this post was a bad idea…

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

Make the Next One Even Better

Share this:
Share

Do you have something that you enjoy doing, but it takes a lot of energy to convince yourself to do it? Maybe it’s exercise, eating healthy, or following up on a conversation you had previously.

For me, I love when I’m finished reviewing an event. Not just pulling the event off, but actually sitting at the finish line and working through the process that got me there. Unfortunately, in spite of the joy I find in having finished it, I have to spend a lot of time convincing myself to do it.

Why do I love the finished product? Because I have a terrible memory, and when I can take notes on something I’m able to write down the things I don’t want to forget.

For example, this week we are doing a fund raiser at our church. Because of COVID, this is only the 2nd time we’ve done this fundraiser in my 25 months at this church. To spell it out even more: we haven’t done this fundraiser in 2 years. Now, my memory is pretty bad most of the time, but when I have to remember the minutia of an event 2 years ago, all hope is lost.

That’s why I’m grateful I took notes two years ago. I wrote down the process, what worked, and changes I needed to make. This way, I don’t have to re-apply the energy it takes to make a decision, and I can even make the event itself better.

As John Maxwell says: “Experience isn’t the best teacher. Evaluated experience is the best teacher.”

What do you need to review? It’s like writing a love note to yourself that delivers down the road. You’ll be grateful.

Finally, because I love practical elements, here are the questions I use to evaluate. Enjoy!

WP to LinkedIn Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
%d bloggers like this: