Wasn't leadership supposed to be about image? Positive effective image? Wasn't it about success charts and award displays? Somebody has messed with my play book regarding leadership. It doesn't work the way I once assumed.
Leadership is not about the leader. It is all about others becoming empowered to serve others who will become empowered to serve yet others. It has nothing to do with position; but a lot to do with disposition.
I have seen good days in leadership in these recent years. Such wasn't always the case. For me leadership has not come easy. In preaching school the maximum any student assumed was we would be a one-man staff and hope to be located in one place five years. No one thought of multiple staff and three-plus decades.
My first couple of decades were pretty rocky. I, as well as all around me, had to learn by bumps and ruts, etc. Eventually, the elders sent me to a Steven Covey Seminar on leadership. Clarity for such a role began to provide new and positive focus. I loved the material and went back to the office enthused at knowing immediate adjustments to make. They were to be made in me; not others. If I would adjust the others would benefit and naturally follow course.
Fundamental leadership---my opinion and experience---is simply empowering others. I was trying to do too many tasks myself which was peeling away potential participants. We had members wishing to do important work. Yet, they were frustrated for I was trying to be important by doing too many things. Quantity of tasks seemed to equal leadership to me. Wrong.
Mentoring escalates one's effectiveness because it causes others to be more effective. It wasn't about me. It was about them receiving support from me.
It has been a simple move. I look at ministry needs and then look for a person(s) within the flock who would have the essential skills to pull off effectiveness. This brings incredible satisfaction. It affords a believer an opportunity to express their talents. It puts more people to work. The more engaged in serving, the more there are to be served. Positive results begin to escalate.
Now this sounds far too simple; but I missed it. I was weary of trying to keep up with so much. Today I don't have as much because we have clusters of teams in place. Not surprisingly, they offer more stability than my over-activity being spread thin. So much is going on at Memorial that the elders and staff simply don't know of several great works. We hear about results...and we love the surprise.
Recently I noticed the need to recruit more vendors for the workshop. One of our elders told me of one of our women who might be willing to take on this task. I met with her. She was proud as punch to be asked...and agreed to take it on. She rattled off ideas and possibilities I would never have guessed. She is talented in this area and I did a good thing in leadership by realizing two things: (1) I didn't know how to do it and (2) God led me to one who did; but at present wasn't serving anywhere.
Win. Win. That's what Steven Covey labeled it.
Look over your work. Note needs. But don't begin to take them on. Honor someone by asking them to oversee them....which means they do the planning and the organizing while you STAY OUT OF THE WAY! Staying out of the way is an essential element of leadership.
Be aggressive. Seek to employ those who are more talented and sharper than yourself. First of all, for me, this is an easy task. Secondly, these top-notched ones bring great glory to God by their graceful participation in the kingdom system.
Get more out of your work by getting out of the way once you have empowered a skillful servant. Enjoy the work of Christ among you!