Leaders Wanted – Apply Within
What leaders most inspired you? What leaders most discouraged you?
I get to lead a large lacrosse team, of four squads. Here I am (white hat) with my other Varsity coaches at half time. We’re successful, I’m successful as a coach, because I found the right guys and convinced them to join me in an endeavor to develop young “men for others”. I’m not that smart, but I do know how to get smart guys to go with me.
If you are like me, that experience is a 50/50 list. You know those who drove you nuts, who you found it hard to even respect. You probably can list those who were, well, lack luster. They didn’t put out fires, but they didn’t start them either. Then here is “that list” – those for whom you’d storm the gates of hell for, but more importantly, with.
Chad ran the manifesting of our emergency logistics line we created in the early days after the Haiti earthquake. He could have stayed in Santiago, in the Domincan Republic the entire time – his role was vital. Yet, as a leader, sometimes you need to get your boots dirty and get forward. Here Chad overseas the unloading of food supplies to feed 5,000 refugees. What you can’t see: the platoon of Uruguayan soldiers guarding our depot drop, as the crowds were hungry and anxious. Chad leads by example – dirty, sweaty example every day.
Ever stop and reflect about yourself as a leader? What kind of leader are you? Which list will you be on? What are you doing to be a good leader intentionally? Everyone of us leading can improve – significantly – in some areas at the least. Have you taken time; a morning, a day, an entire silent retreat to reflect upon how you are doing as a leader. I’m not talking about getting away to do some strategic thinking and planning, but some hard mirror gazing – not to beat yourself up, or for vanity’s sake. I am encouraging some hard work.
Consider some questions I am wrestling myself, and will focus on during an upcoming retreat, as well as something we’re working on to facilitate making better new team leaders within our mission:
- What leaders most inspired you? What leaders did not inspire?
- Why? What was their impact on you?
- What did they do to lead, develop leaders and inspire?
- How did they create a team culture?
- How did they lead?
- How are you doing in developing your leadership style, skills, atmosphere
- What are you doing/not doing in creating your team culture?
- What culture do you want?
- Are you safe? Can your subordinates stir your rice bowl? Really?
- Do you defend them to others? Brag on them to others? Do they know it?
- Are you humble?
- Do you want, listen and hear their input? Are they part of the process?
- Are you the servant leader or the grand leader?
- Do you facilitate discovery and forging the future, or do you deliver it to them?
- Are you brave enough to get the right team on the bus, the wrong ones off, and then the right people in the right seats…[See Collins, Good to Great]
- Are you empowering your leaders contrasted to delegating, abdicating and relegating?
- Do you understand developing subordinates – beyond managing them?
- Do you develop skills?
- Develop vision/confidence/courage?
- Developing young leaders? This is a different ball game for those born prior to the Gen X, or before the Gen Y and yes, before the Millennials came of age.
- Your context: Developing leaders/team in different than normal contexts:
A. Team Life in Community contexts where life & ministry/work/mission collide and are inseparable.
B. Team life when you are not in the same location(s), i.e. virtual community… how in the heck can we do that!?
- What do you know about “Conflict Resolution” as a team? Individual? Do you say “I’m sorry”?
- Are you willing to do and say the tough things in the face of opposition?
- Taking your team where they need to go, not just where they want to go?
- Giving them the greater perspective and taking them to the high ground, not the secure, or natural ground?
- How do I develop Team Finances?
- What about Recruiting staff-getting the right smart people on the team?
- How do I develop our team’s North Star – aspirational vision/goals?
- Understanding the Team you take over and it’s history… why is it like it is…?
- What about your own person?
- Are you self defined and non-anxious?
- What about your own scheit?
- You dealing with it? How?
- Who can stir your rice bowl?
Ever need an ear? Ever need some one to ask the hard stuff – drop me a line. It’s what I do. And, yes, I ask myself these questions all the time. It’s hard sometimes.
Yet, if we are to be followers in the way of Jesus, to imitate and smell, taste and have His very nature, it is something we need to do regularly. May He give you the courage and conviction to wade into these waters.