“This is why, I think, so many companies fail. Not because of challenges in the marketplace, but because of challenges on the inside.”
– Howard Schultz, Onward
There are many times that I have heard leaders point to things outside of their organizations as obstacles to growth and/or reasons for why efforts for success are failing.
The truth is, if it is solid and healthy on the inside, your organization can weather most storms that come from the outside. Easy? No. Survivable? Yes.
Flip that scenario around, and it’s a different story. If your organization is not healthy on the inside, it is doomed to be an obstacle to its own success. I’m sure you know of at least one example that proves this point.
As a leader, what are you doing to make your organization stronger?…
Nearly every pastor of an evangelical church looks for ways to “make disciples”. It is one thing to have a mission statement that declares “discipleship” as the means of growing the church; the “how” of discipleship is much more complicated.
Some churches establish very detailed classroom environments with set days of the week where they share plenty of scripture and often times a component of teaching. Perhaps the participants interact around that scripture as well. However, some of the most effective churches in “making disciples” (based on the level of participation in all areas of the church’s life) have embraced the model where almost everything happens in a small group….
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.
Proverbs 1:5 NIV
If we are to lead others effectively, we need to be committed to be lifelong learners. When you limit your learning, you limit your growth in every area of life. But with so many avenues available for learning, leaders do not have the time to learn just for the sake of learning. Collecting random knowledge may allow you to beat the average person on Jeopardy, but it will not translate into seeing your unique God-given gifts emerge. Instead, the best leaders focus their learning on the things that set them apart.
I have had the opportunity to serve as an executive coach to a number of senior leaders in a number of different organizations. My goal was never to identify their weakest areas and turn them into strengths. If a visionary leader has a messy office, it is a waste of his or her time to focus their learning on how to excel at planning and organizing.
When weaknesses are so distracting that they threaten to derail a leader, they must be mitigated. However, it is a futile exercise to try to turn weaknesses into strengths. Instead, executive coaching is best focused on how a leader can take the strengths that have propelled them to success and develop, leverage and maximize those strengths….
One of the things that voracious learners do, is to find and follow closely trusted and proven leaders who are both older and younger, than themselves. (At this point, the second part is easy for me!)
It also helps when you find other leaders who have similar values, priorities and goals as you do. At times, I don’t mind reading things from folks that see the Kingdom differently, but when you get too much of that, you rarely move your own vision ahead.
Here’s a recent post from Tony Morgan, a younger leader who is ‘down to earth’; but creative and hungry to do the will of God. I found these questions were thoughtful, if not profound.
There are many bases for leadership: positional, relational, knowledge/information, performance, etc. But real, lasting leadership tends to be based upon influential relationships. Previously, I listed 5 common misunderstandings about leadership. If those misunderstandings are examples of what leadership is not, then what personal qualities do make a great leader?
I started answering that question last week in What Personal Qualities Do Great Leaders Have? (Part 1). Here now are the final 4 of my “Top 10” personal qualities for a leader:…
If you have been following the Passavant Leadership Group Blog, you’ve read that Leadership is Influence. You’ve learned that Great Leaders are constantly learning, and have to be bold. Sometimes you have to stand up against adversity, and other times you have to be patient while people align with new vision. Leaders must have followers and great leaders develop more leaders within their followers.
The general concept of a leader implies movement in a specific direction. If a leader is not moving, they are just standing in a crowd of people. Leaders have to move forward, but they can easily run out of gas and burn out if they are not prepared. Just like a car or airplane needs fuel to keep going, leaders cannot lead very far if they are running on fumes. You’ve got to keep your tank full in order to lead well for any extended amount of time.
This is a complex question. I have been a student of leadership for many years and there is a plethora of theories and models concerning what good leadership looks like. As I have blogged before, Leadership is Influence. There are many bases for leadership: positional, relational, knowledge/information, performance, etc. But real, lasting leadership tends to be based upon influential relationships.
In my last blog post, I listed 5 Common Misunderstandings About Leadership. If those misunderstandings are examples of what leadership is not, then what personal qualities do make a great leader? Here are the first 6 of my “Top 10” personal qualities for a great leader:…
Leaders Influence People. Great leaders don’t just influence people to follow them; they create more leaders who influence others. When you are leading people, you can affect their ultimate path. They follow your leadership and accomplish goals or reach destinations they wouldn’t have achieved on their own. When those goals or destinations are reached, you can say that you’ve done a good job as a leader. The problem is that everyone has a limit to how many people they can lead effectively. However, when you stop creating followers under your leadership and start creating or developing leaders, the number of people you can influence will grow exponentially.
Every church leader wants to see his or her congregation grow. Spreading the Gospel to all people is what we are called to do. Jesus said to “go and make disciples”. If all a church leader does is make disciples, it won’t be long before he finds the limit of how many disciples he can care for on his own. At that point, there are only a couple of options. A leader can either hire someone to share the load or he can learn to make disciple-makers instead of just making disciples. Churches don’t grow because the Senior Pastor is a great preacher or the worship experience is phenomenal. Churches grow because they are actively making disciple-makers….