3 Questions to Help You Become a Better Leader (Part 2)

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On Monday, I wrote about the first two questions (click here to read if you missed it). Today, I’ll finish it up with the third question.

Just a refresher, when I walk into a room, I want to ask myself three questions. The first two are:

1) What needs to be done? (Awareness)

2) What can I do? (Willingness)

And that brings us to the third question.

3. who can i get to help?

The third question focuses on including others in what has been a very personal and individual process. The difference between people who can answer the first two questions and the people who can answer all three often comes down to an ability to lead others. But leading others is not an art form that few can master. Everyone has the potential to lead.

Leadership takes place when you see a need and you invite other people to meet the need, preferably with you. A quick google search of “definitions of leadership” will return more results than you might care to peruse, but the simple idea boils down to seeing a better future and bringing people along to join in the better future and help it happen. Leaders have an ability to see the “horizon of possibility”.

If Leadership is rooted in the first two questions, then it blossoms in the third. It is not enough to simply be able to assess a need and meet the need, but a successful leader will be able to include others in meeting the need.

I have been teaching these questions to a group of junior high and high school students since August. One of the easiest ways the three questions have found expression has been through setting chairs up on Wednesday nights before our service starts.

A few weeks ago, before anyone else had arrived, an 8th grader, who has not been included in the teaching of the 3 Questions, walks into the youth room and begins to set up chairs. Completely unprompted by me (and like a bum, I didn’t even help).

This student had been included by the others so many times, that he unknowingly answered the first two questions that night.

Leadership leads to movement

Inviting others to help accomplish a task is good, but it is not the end goal. Ultimately, we want to move people in a common direction.

As a father, I want to lead my family to faithfully serve God.

As a leader, I want to lead others to impact lives for the sake of the Gospel.

As a Youth Pastor, I want to lead students into a growing relationship with Christ, and in turn I want to lead those students to lead their peers.

Ultimately, however, the goal of leadership is to leverage influence to create forward movement.

As we work through the 3 Questions, we have to come to terms with where we want people to move. Never be satisfied by simply answering the questions, but be willing to evaluate where you’re going.

So, there you go. These questions have slowly started shaping the way I lead, the way I teach others to lead, and the way I interact with people around me. I will continue to unpack what these mean and what they look like, but this is all for now. Thanks for reading!

 

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3 Question Leadership First Thoughts

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Next week I am going to post about the 3 Questions and unpack each one. Today, though, I am going to give an introduction.

On New Year’s Eve we had some friends over. We invited two couples and thought only one would come, so we set up for two families (ours and theirs). When the time rolled around to start, the second couple walked in the door. We talked for a moment and then I decided to go grab some chairs for our extra guests.

When I walked into the back room, I saw my daughter grabbing chairs. Neither my wife nor I asked her to grab the chairs, but she was able to see the need and decided to do something about it.

The foundation for the 3 questions is servant leadership. If we, as leaders, are unwilling to meet the need or work to solve a problem, then we stop being leaders and become bosses. If we are unwilling to grab chairs for extra guests, we miss the starting point.

When we decide, however, to make a difference by first making an effort, then we can lead others to do the same. When we lead others to do the same, our leadership grows.

So, before you read the posts introducing each question, first ask yourself if you are willing to be a servant leader. Are you willing to put forth the effort it takes to accomplish tasks? Are you already exercising servant leadership? If not, start looking for ways to make a difference by serving.

Click here for Part 1 of the discussion on the 3 Questions.

 

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Don’t Let Someone’s Character Surprise You

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I have a morning routine. I make coffee before I do almost anything else. Sometimes I prep the coffee maker the night before, and sometimes I have to prep and brew in the same motion.

But do you want to know something that has never happened? I have never pushed brew on the coffee maker and watched the coffee pot fill with soda. Why is that? Because the coffee maker does what it is made to do — make coffee.

Over the years I have learned a similar lesson about people — I cannot let myself be surprised when someone does something that lines up with who they have been while I have known them.

(more…)

What is 3 Question Leadership?

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Have you ever stopped to realize there are certain patterns or repetitions in your life? Maybe it has to do with the routines you hold, or the activities in which you participate. For me, I realized one day I have a tendency to develop things in groups of threes.

I learned quite a few years back that when preaching a sermon series, three weeks is the most natural for me. As I develop ideas and prepare to deliver them, two weeks often seems too little, while the fourth week was always the least effective or productive.

Three week series are only the beginning. I can point to the recurring “three” theme in so many places. The basis for this blog is going to be three questions I am teaching a group of student leaders in my ministry, but there are actually several other threes I will discuss from time to time.

Let me give a quick disclaimer: I do not think the number three is magical or the final say on lists. I will not limit myself to posts with only three ideas. But the three questions is the starting point, and we all have to start somewhere, right?

So, what are the 3 Questions?

You’ll have to come back and keep reading to find out.

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