Is This What’s Missing In Your Leadership?

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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?

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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…

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Where Do We Start?

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I started the Three Question Leadership Blog 4 years ago. I thought I would spend the next few weeks sharing some of my first posts, in their entirety, here. Whether you’re new or have been with me all along, I hope you find these concepts applicable.

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 tried to redefine 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. It was a decision and discussion that set my life on a path I never would have dreamed.

Who do you need to give an opportunity this week? What are you waiting for?

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Avoid Answering No For Someone Else

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I started the Three Question Leadership Blog 4 years ago. I thought I would spend the next few weeks sharing some of my first posts, in their entirety, here. Whether you’re new or have been with me all along, I hope you find these concepts applicable.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but rejection is a terrible thing. Working up the courage to ask someone for help can be exhausting, and it’s only made worse when they say no. But there is something that hurts more than asking and being told no: never asking.

Because I fear rejection, often times I catch myself trying to reason my way out of asking someone for help. “They are not going to have time” or “They wouldn’t want to do that” becomes the refrain I tell myself.

The reality, however, is I will never know how someone will respond especially if I never ask. If I tell myself “they will say no, so why bother”, then their answer will always be no.

But, when I ask, they now have the opportunity to say yes. And who knows, I could get surprised.

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It’s Time to Start Somewhere

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I started the Three Question Leadership Blog 4 years ago. I thought I would spend the next few weeks sharing some of my first posts, in their entirety, here. Whether you’re new or have been with me all along, I hope you find these concepts applicable.

I am a thinker. I have a terrible tendency to be able to argue both sides, even when they don’t need to be argued. Because of my propensity to think, I joke that I spend 90% of my time thinking about what I could do, and 10% actually doing it.

Thinking about things all the time has benefits. Often, I can think through a situation and find a new way of looking at it. I enjoy hearing how other people think so I can see if there is something I can learn from how they process and proceed.

There are downsides to thinking about things 90% of the time–you actually only act on what you’re thinking 10%. That leads to plenty of mental development, but very little real life occurrence.

That’s where the principle for today’s post came into my life. I don’t know if you’re wired like me, but I think there is a little truth in what I’m about to say. I’ve made this my new mantra, especially when there’s something I would much rather just think about doing than actually doing.

Are you ready? Here it is: Start Somewhere.

Sounds simple enough, right? You would be amazed at how many times it has helped me move from thinking to action.

For example, I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of a student leadership team. I’ve tried one at past churches with moderate success, but never had a set structure I wanted to follow.

Where I serve now, it’s pretty fun to look back at the growth of our student leadership team. The first two or three years was just a trip at the beginning of summer. Then, two summers ago we added monthly meetings. This year, we’ve added weekly meetings and have really started to hit our stride.

But we would not be where we are today if I hadn’t started somewhere.

The crazy thing about starting somewhere is your start is not your final product. I never start something with the mindset that it is going to be perfect from the beginning. But, if I want a program, event, relationship, or opportunity to reach full potential, it will not happen until I start somewhere.

You may not be wired this way. Maybe you spend 90% of your time doing things and only 10% thinking. (If so, I think we would make a great team.)  Your “start somewhere” may be to put a little more thought into something before you start it.

Maybe you have a habit of starting things and never finishing them. So your “start somewhere” would be to pick one project and actually finish it.

I am not saying my way is the only way. I am asking, though, for you to evaluate yourself. Are you more of a thinker or a doer? Could the principle of “start somewhere” apply in your life? If so, where?

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