Overcoming the Reflex

Share this:
Share

Leadership development is a discipline not a reflex.

This concept has been on my mind a lot over the past month. I’ve served in student ministry for somewhere around 17 or 18 summers, and I’ve never had a summer that felt like this. It seems everything is flipped upside down.

And when we park in chaos, our reflexes take over. We naturally default to the things that come easy to us, or the things in which we find comfort.

Planners find rest in planning.

Creative types find rest in creating.

Busy types find rest in busy-ness.

Very few people, however, default to developing leaders. It’s not natural to bring someone along and to empower them to serve. Capable people, especially, have a difficult time including others in their work.

Leadership development is a discipline, not a reflex.

Think of it like trying to lose weight. The only time in my life that I have lost weight without being highly intentional is when I have a stomach bug. When my body is rejecting the fuel I’m trying to give it, I can lose weight without much effort (but usually quite a bit of pain).

My natural reflex is to put my head down and accomplish. I fear rejection, so I default to not wanting to bother people for help. I justify it, and move forward alone.

But that’s not how I grow as a leader. I want to develop those around me. I want the people (young and old) around me to be grow because of the leadership influence I have on them.

But it takes discipline. It takes purpose. It takes intentionality.

Do you agree? Is developing leaders around you a discipline, or a reflex? What is one thing you need to do today to develop someone around you?

3 Tips to Navigate an Unclear Future

Share this:
Share

We are living in a strange time. I have so many thoughts and questions about what is happening all around us, but so few answers.

I would not say I’m worried about COVID19, but more worried about the implications it carries for the next few weeks. Every day for the past 7 days has been a roller coaster of emotion, and I feel like we are only seeing the beginning.

So, what does that mean for leadership? Here are three things I’m keeping out front as we navigate the coming weeks:

  1. Learn from others. One of my favorite ways of leading is to learn from what other people are doing. What is working? What is not working? What sounds like a contextual win and what would make sense for my setting? If I can come out of the 2nd quarter of 2020 having picked up some leadership lessons, then I’ll be better for it moving forward.
  2. Swing big. One of my favorite things about Youth Ministry is the ease with which we can introduce changes. Students live in a world of change, so they seem to be a little less resistant than adults. So, that means we have an opportunity to swing big in the next few weeks. We can try things we would have never considered, all for the sake of staying connected. As I process options, this post comes to mind.
  3. Be intentional. If gathering together is one of the strengths of the church as we know it (and I think it is), we have to be intentional in the days ahead. We have to be intentional about maintaining connections. We have to be intentional about checking in on those in our sphere of influence. We have to be intentional to nurture leadership in those around us.

At the end of the day, we will likely look back on this time of our lives and always ask if we handled our opportunities well. I hope both of us remember these days as something great in spite of the circumstances.

What are you doing to make sure you’re still prepared and ready moving forward?

Building Trust

Share this:
Share

One of the joys of leadership is bringing new people alongside and letting them lead. One of the risks in leadership is deciphering how much rope a new person should be given.

So, how do we decide how much freedom to give a new person? Easy – relationships.

Occasionally, as leaders, we have to trust someone whom we do not know to step up and lead. One year ago I was hired by a church to come in and lead the student ministry. Our relationship was starting essentially from scratch, and so there was a built in level of trust that was necessary for me to start my job.

But the reality was (and continues to be), trust is built through relationships. As I have (hopefully) shown myself to be a trustworthy leader, I benefit from more and more responsibility.

The same is true as I’ve brought on new people to lead in the student ministry here. As we’ve gotten to know each other better, I’m learning what I can and cannot give away.

But it all starts with relationship.

This is both the most challenging and most rewarding part of leadership, because at the end of the day if we are not building relationships with other people, we have no leadership influence.

Relationships are messy. They take time. They rarely have easy answers. Everyone is unique, no matter how much they remind of us people from our past. But relationships unlock potential.

As a leader, if you are interested in growing your influence, continually build relationships. Be careful not to give too much rope, but at the same time, you’ll be amazed at how high capacity people have a high desire to serve. In other words, if you never give away responsibility, you run the risk of losing your best people.

So, what relationships do you need to work on this week? Maybe it’s building trust with new team members. Maybe it’s checking in with consistent leaders. Maybe it’s pouring into someone who is feeling empty. Maybe it’s have a conversation to realize someone is feeling empty.

Whatever step you need to take to further a relationship, do it today!

Flashback Friday #4

Share this:
Share

I have a post it note on my computer monitor in my office that says: Not having THAT conversation is selfish.

I wrestle with this constantly. I dread difficult conversations. That’s why today’s flashback is a reminder for me as much as for you to not hide from hard conversations.

Here’s a glimpse:

The “right time” and the “necessary time” are two contrasting opportunities. The “right time” is much more of a gamble. I have a tendency to justify waiting by saying I am waiting for the right time. The right time, however, comes before the necessary time.

Click here to check it out!

What's Your Plan?

What’s Your Plan?

Share this:
Share

Having a plan of attack always helps me. Sure, I can shoot from the hip as well as most people, but there are some things where having a plan is just better.

When I started this blog three years ago, I did not have a solid plan, other than a topic I wanted to tackle. Over time, however, I developed a plan. I may modify the plan, but for the most part, the plan helps.

When I trained for a half marathon, I followed a plan. I didn’t know what I was doing, other than running, but my plan put me on the right path to accomplish the goal.

Developing Student Leaders is very similar. When I look back over the past 10+ of developing student leaders, I may have swung blindly early on, but as time passed, I was able to develop a plan that moved me in a direction. Yes, that plan has been (and will continue to be) modified, but it’s a plan nonetheless.

Think of it like this: if I want a student to grow in their leadership influence, then I need to know what steps I want them to take. Those steps may be simple, or they may be a little more complex. But they are steps, regardless.

So, as I’m starting a leadership team in my current context, what’s my plan? Pretty simple: raising awareness, willingness, and leadership (sound familiar?), and prayer. I want students to start looking for opportunities to influence a room. And it helps to have a goal.

What’s your plan? What are you striving for? What steps are you helping students (or the people you lead) take to grow their leadership influence? Is there something you need to change? Is there something you need to ramp up? What are you waiting for?

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