Encouraging Students to Experiment with Leadership

Share this:
Share

On Tuesday I talked about the need to redefine leadership potential. If you missed it, click here to read it.

Today, let’s talk about how to provide a way for students to dip their toes into leadership.

Over the past year, I’ve been teaching a group of student leaders to ask themselves three questions when they walk into our youth room.

  1. What needs to be done? (Awareness)
  2. What can I do to help? (Willingness)
  3. Who can I get to help? (Leadership)

As they work to answer these questions, their outlook on what constitutes leadership has changed. Leadership isn’t something accomplished only from the stage. Leadership happens when one person is able to move another person (or a group of people) in a common direction for a common purpose.

If I can teach an 8th grader the basic principles of leadership, and give them opportunities to exercise leadership, then as they mature and progress through our ministry, they will lead more effectively at a later age.

More than anything else, as I have redefined leadership potential, my desire is to teach students an awareness of what’s going on around them, and a willingness to help.

If you want to read more about the 3 questions, check out the “Foundation” page, or search through the 3 Questions category here on the site.

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

Leading Students

Redefining Leadership Potential

Share this:
Share

So much of my experience in developing leaders comes from working with teenagers. Over the past two years, as I have talked with other youth workers, I have started to notice a common thread in a few of our conversations:

The necessity for a student to show a readiness to lead before being given opportunities.

My approach to developing student leaders takes a slightly different path. Instead of waiting for students to show a competency for leadership, I have redefined leadership potential.

I treat teenagers as though they are capable of taking a leadership role, regardless of their age. Why? Because, they are capable of leadership regardless of age. Yes, Juniors and Seniors are more mature and can exhibit stronger leadership, but what are we missing by not developing those Juniors and Seniors as 8th and 9th graders?

I’m so grateful that in 9th grade my youth minister gave me the opportunity to start developing my leadership and passion for Christ.

On Thursday, I will continue this thought with a few examples and what I use to help students just getting their feet wet in leadership find ways they can contribute.

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

Lessons from the Farm: Work Until the Job is Done

Share this:
Share

Today I am going to finish up my first theme. I’m calling these posts “Lessons from the Farm”. You can read the first post here, or click the Lessons from the Farm Category to the left.

If you haven’t read the first part of this post, click here. Okay, that’s all the links for now.

Our leadership principle for today: never leave cattle on the truck. There will be tasks and opportunities that cannot be left until they are completed.

A worthwhile harvest never happens if you do not plant with urgency.

Cattle out on the highway cannot wait until the morning.

A student in the emergency room at 2am needs attention.

And sometimes, driving home through a blizzard to safely deliver the herd cannot be stopped because it’s “quitting time”.

Every day in my ministry, I face different tasks, responsibilities, and opportunities. Each one presents a different challenge and a different dynamic, and my job is to find which ones cannot wait until tomorrow, and do them.

Sometimes the line is clear. Sometimes it is not. But I have made the commitment to always be willing to do the work that is necessary.

Because I will never leave cattle on the truck.

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

Lessons from the Farm: Same Destination, Different Paths

Share this:
Share

Welcome to my series called “Lessons from the Farm”. You can read the other posts here.

Just a little background: I grew up working on my Dad’s farm. As I’ve grown older and spent more time away, there are few leadership principles I have realized along the way.

When I got into high school, my dad started raising more cattle. Part of raising cattle is moving them from one place to another. Over the years, we moved countless herds.

A lesson I had to quickly learn was to find the balance between knowing the destination and not getting stuck on having to stay on one single path. Map quest will not map out a path for a cattle drive.

When moving cattle you have to know your destination and push the herd in the general direction, understanding sometimes you’re not going to move in a straight line.

The same is true in leadership. Knowing our destination is vitally important, but we have to be careful about being completely tied to the path we’ve laid out. If we are unwilling or unable to adjust to the unexpected detours or slight course alterations, we become too rigid and no one wants to follow us.

Learning how to lead includes learning how to accommodate the unexpected and use the forward momentum to move toward the destination.

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

Lessons from the Farm: Teaching on the Go

Share this:
Share

I’ve been going through a theme for the first time. I’m calling these posts “Lessons from the Farm”. You can read the first post here.

Just a little background: I grew up working on my Dad’s farm. As I’ve grown older and spent more time away, there are few leadership principles I have realized along the way.

My dad knew how to do everything. Me? Not so much. That meant a lot of on-the-job training. How do you teach an 8 year old how to run an impact wrench? You show him. And you show him again. And you show him again. Right-in, Tighten (a close cousin to righty-tighty, lefty-loosey).

How do you teach a teenager how to “drive” cattle? By talking through the strategy and then letting them learn how to follow the strategy.

The list goes on and on.

But more than what I was taught, I remember how I was taught: in the moment, sometimes being shown how, sometimes being told, usually realizing after the fact I had more to learn.

The same is true today. No matter how badly I want, training does not happen because I think it should. Training happens on a case by case basis, and the best lessons are usually learned after the freedom to make mistakes.

I never learned the best way to change sweeps on a plow by playing with dirt clods–I had to have the tool in my hand and the job in front of me. Often, the best way to lead is to give someone the tools and knowledge they need, and let them go.

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

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