Leadership Disciplines [3]

Last week I wrote about two priorities for me right now ~ to stop telling others what to do and to stop doing things that others could do just as well.

I stand by them but while I press on with a new found focus to empower I am mindful of some other leadership truths…

Some people prefer to be told what to do

Some people prefer to not do the things that I do

The challenge for me as a leader is to know when to push on these and when to back off. Unfortunately I don’t think there is any guidelines or 3-step plans for learning this either. It’s trial and error. I have done it well and I have done it badly. Maybe it’s more about that elusive leadership intuition, that ability to understand something or in this instance, someone, instinctively, a belief that there is more inside the person that they can see in themselves.

With this in mind here are two more aspects of my leadership which I will continue to be disciplined about…

I won’t stop seeing the ‘more’ in you than you see in yourself

I will keep telling you that you can do the ‘more’ than you think you can do

What leadership disciplines do you have?

[Read the previous posts here: Leadership Disciplines & Leadership Disciplines 2]

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? 

How to Be a ‘Get Out of the Way’ Leader

Been thinking about this recently and how difficult I find this. I don’t think I’m alone either in finding this essential aspect of leadership such a challenge. Empowering others is the only way to bring about all that we want to see but that doesn’t make it easy though.

Here are some quick thoughts ~ why we don’t ‘get out of the way’, then why and how we should…

WHY WE DON’T…

We like control. We like to be in charge, to know what’s going on.
We don’t trust others. No one can do it like we do it.
There isn’t anyone to ‘get out of the way’ for. Or at least that’s what we convince ourselves.
We are scared of change. They will do it differently to how we have done it.
We will have nothing to do. We could become outdated, unwanted, or redundant.
What if they get it wrong. It’s just not worth the risk.

What if they get it right. What we were doing might come in to question.

WHY WE SHOULD…

We wont achieve the vision. The bigger the vision the more we need others to help us. One person can only do so much.
We stifle growth. Other peoples, maybe even our own and definitely the organisations.
Be willing to challenge the process. Just because its always been done ‘that way’ doesn’t mean it should continue to be. Sometimes we need that ‘upstart’ to say ‘Why not?’
New people can bring fresh energy. This is in turn can bring life to the organisation.

They may leave if we don’t. If people cannot see that they will ever be included, then they will probably go to a place where they will be.

HOW WE SHOULD DO IT…

On purpose not haphazardly. Have a plan on how responsibility will be given. Create a programme with a clear pathway, so those who are getting involved know what to expect.
Through coaching and not just through teaching. You can’t really ‘have a go’ without being given the opportunity to ‘have a go’. Hands on experience alongside some teaching can work really well. John Maxwell would teach us ~ know the way, go the way, show the way.
Let go. The first time is the hardest but if you have invested in them well then it’s not the challenge you really fear.
Be an inspiring leader. Spend your leadership being the kind of leader that others would want to be like. Inspire with vision, with attitude, with integrity, with your work ethic, with communication, with encouragement and every facet of your leadership.

Resource them. Just keep passing on everything you know, everything you have learned. Talk all the time about the why behind what you have asked them to do.

It’s a challenge but the rewards mean all that we are building can outlast us. If we make it all about us then what we are doing may well die when we do. If we make it about others then what we are building can last for generations to come.

What would you add to this?

The Next Generation

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Friday night at Xcel Church is youth night. Has been for many years. We are determined and purposeful about reaching and releasing the next generation.

We will always believe in them.
We will always point them to Jesus.
We will always help them know more about Jesus.
We will always encourage them towards their destiny.
We will always give them opportunities to have a go an duse their gifts.
We will always do our best to not get in the way of them flourishing with God.
We will always pray for them.
We will always show genuine care for them, where they are right now and will be in the future.
We will always make space for the next generation.
We will always make sure that they know we are here for them.

If we don’t then the next generation will not discover how amazing they are and all that God has for them.

Big up to our amazing Planet Youth team who sacrifice every Friday night and more to pour their lives into a bunch of young people. It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of.

Play your part too. Do them a favour and pray for them, thank them and stand with them as they do all they can to reach and change a generation.