Everyone has an opinion on leadership. So here is mine! Seriously though, there is a lot of great content out on leadership. I have been thinking about what makes a great leader. And a lot of the great content out there suggests that a leader “doesn’t do”. To clarify, this blog post is titled “A Leader Does.” But what I have heard (and maybe you have too) is a leader doesn’t. A leader can’t. A leader can’t do it all herself. He can’t do everything. She has to let go. And I actually agree!
Micheal Gerber, in his book the E Myth, talks about how there is a myth that everyone that has started a small business is an entrepreneur. This is not always the case. In many cases this is a myth. Just because someone is the best baker you know, doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to run a bakery. They may love to bake but when you run a small business there is a lot more to do than bake. An entrepreneur can’t do everything. A leader doesn’t do it all.
But yet there are things a leader does. So I recognize the tension here. A leader doesn’t but there are things a leader must do to lead others.
A leader doesn’t just say things
Picture it. A conference room where a leader is speaking for 45 minutes and everyone on his team is listening. Then the meeting just ends after his presentation.
Let’s give this leader the benefit of the doubt and assume valuable content is being shared. He is engaging and shares some insight into how to accomplish the mission of the organization. This leader is smart. He has a lot of wisdom. Now his team can go confidently accomplishing their tasks. But has he been collaborative? Has he listened to his team? Could his team possibly add to the valuable content that can lead the organization forward?
A leader listens
A leader no matter how wise should listen to others. If the leader doesn’t listen, the organization will only go as far as he can go. Even the most high capacity leaders have lids. How can they expand their capacity? I know of at least one way.
A great leader listens to others
Instead of a 45 minute presentation, which isn’t all bad (I love going to conferences to hear a great speak talk about leadership), make room in your meetings for people on your team to share their ideas and make observations on what they have seen. Give them a safe place to do this and don’t dismiss their ideas as inferior to yours. Here are just a few simple things to do the next time you lead a meeting.
- Ask clarifying questions that don’t immediately shoot down their ideas.
- Listen again
- Be humble
Simple yes but not easy. It is hard for me to just listen without jumping ahead or dismissing the idea. Imagine if you had meetings where people could share ideas and this was an environment that fostered a collaborative spirit in your office! This could change the culture and morale of your office. And this would help accomplish the mission of your organization!
I will talk more about what a leaders does in the weeks ahead!
Thanks for reading!
How many people do you have over your house for dinner? Or maybe lunch or brunch? How many weekly, monthly or annually? This isn’t to judge. I know we don’t have people over nearly as much as we should. And in our fast past and fast food lifestyle we can sometimes miss this. But when we do we invite people over its usually people who we know or people who we want to get to know. Having someone over to hang out and have a meal can be intentional for many of us. There is something about sharing a meal that can breakdown walls down and allows people to get to know each other. It is fun and it is relational. A connection happens many times when people share a meal together at their kitchen or family table.
When we take the bread and the juice we are sharing a meal together. This is what we call communion or the Lord’s Supper. In the Apostle Paul’s account of the Lord’s Supper he says,
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
1 Corinthians 11:23–26
Also in the first century, people saw hospitality and sharing a meal together as an intimate bond. And for us today there really is no meal no more intimate that can connect us with God and with his people than the meal we are about to share in.
What God has done through Jesus’ body that was broken and his blood that was shed is has reconciled us or brought us into a right relationship with God and he has brought a people, his church together. We are the church, if we have placed our trust in Jesus. He has brought us the church together to share in this meal to remember and proclaim what Jesus has done for us. There is no greater bond and no greater meal that we can share.
Imagine if we didn’t go through the motions when we participate in communion. For those of us who put our trust in Jesus, he has broken down the barrier between us and God. What if we acted like that was the case? How would that change our approach to our relationship with God? He has also brought us together to break down the barriers that we may have with each other. Examine yourself and allow him to work in you so that we can become one as God is one.
If we acted as one people in a world that is divided, that would actually begin to change the world around us.
Thanks for reading!
How Did I see God?
This question was asked of us and asked of the youth that participated in a recent Missions trip that Crossroads Church in Albert Lea went on. We had an amazing time together and I am very thankful I went on the trip.
I see God in Detroit
I saw God in the city of Detroit. I saw God in the people of Detroit Love. Detroit Love is the organization that Crossroads partnered with for this missions trip (CLICK HERE for Detroit Love’s website). Their love for the city and the people of Detroit was evident with how they saw hope, love, and redemption happening in the city. The staff showed us hope throughout the city while being realistic of the challenges that are ahead for the city.
I also saw God in the people of Detroit. The kids showed joy and laughter that was contagious. They also loved our teenagers that came to serve on the missions trip. Kids of course are kids and can present some challenges, but they were receptive to our teenagers and to the messages they shared from God’s Word. We also served people in the community and city. They were so thankful for what we were doing for them. A lot of this also has to do with the trust that Detroit Love has gained with those in the community.
I see God in Our Teenagers
I really believe in mobilizing a teenager’s potential so that they can begin to realize their potential. This was the perfect opportunity for them to begin to realize their God-given potential. I absolutely saw God in these teenagers. They had quick thinking and flexibility when planning the Vacation Bible School the night before we had the Vacation Bible School. They showed genuine love and patience toward the kids from Detroit. They had fun dancing, jumping around and playing games. They were profoundly impacted by the city, kids, and people of Detroit.
The amazing thing about these teenagers is that they have a passion to serve. I ask myself this question:
What would happen if we took this passion to serve and did that in our community?
The passion to serve and love others out of the love we have for God should be something that is part of our daily lives.
We have jobs, we go to school, we have families, and we have responsibilities so I get that most of us cannot quit what we are doing and do this full-time. However, there is something that I learned that can change how we live our daily lives. We can continue to serve others while maintaining our lives. That doesn’t mean that God won’t ask us to give up things or we might need to adjust our priorities.The thing I learned is to ask this question:
How did I see God today?
This question will help us to anticipate God’s work in our lives and then begin joining in with what he is doing.
So how did you see God today?
Thanks for reading.