Leadership Disciplines [2]

Last week I wrote that to become a better leader requires discipline. 

The subsequent question could be, ‘in what’? Different leaders would answer this in different ways. I have some disciplines that would not be considered out of the ordinary, such as reading, keeping my relationship with God good & strong, staying teachable, praying, being accountable, etc.

To dig a little deeper this is where my thoughts are at the moment, what I am being disciplined about in regard to my own leadership. I know it’s not revolutionary but through recent conversations I was reminded about the importance of making these two a priority…

Stop telling others what to do. I am the leader, I probably have the right to tell you what to do, and it doesn’t mean I never will but I am doing my very best to more disciplined in my empowering of others.

This is not just about delegation but delegation with purpose. Helping others to flourish in their own abilities. It’s about me being disciplined to make sure that they know and understand the bigger picture, that they begin to see things that need to be noticed and thought about, and that they realise they have it within themselves to work out what should be done in response.

It means I am asking more questions of others. What do you think? How do you think this can be improved? What do you and your team think we could do? Why is this important to us?

It challenges others to grow. It challenges me to keep growing. It increases a sense of ownership. It releases people to flourish and get on with seeing the vision come to pass.

Stop doing things that others could do just as well. An article I read recently suggested that if someone can do something 80% as well as me, then maybe I should be giving them the permission and the resource to be doing it.

That is difficult for me as a leader. I like things done well. However, that just means that I keep control of everything for fear that they might not do it as well or the same way and that helps no one. The results are often negative – I get overwhelmed and they don’t have anything to get their teeth into.

I am therefore having to be more disciplined to get myself out of the way. To be purposeful in the giving away of roles and responsibilities. I am having to be disciplined in ensuring that as I empower others I resource them adequately and work with them on the journey.

Someone asked me how I think strategically about church, what is my thought and/or development process? I guess this would be a part of the answer. For any organisation to achieve its vision it takes more than one or two people, it takes as many as want to achieve it. Part of my role as a disciplined leader is to facilitate those opportunities and then to empower, equip and release those who are willing to be involved by stopping to to tell people what to do and getting myself out of the way.

What do you think? 

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