Friday, May 15, 2009

Two Leadership Lessons

I just met with a couple of NCC leaders, and I shared with them a couple leadership lessons that I learned pretty early on. They were hard to learn but I'm very thankful for them.

First, change what you can where you can and begin by changing yourself. Leaders see problems. They see leaks in the system. They see methods that can be improved. They smell the foul stench of "policy" when it hinders reaching the goal and they become disillusioned in the absence of good policies that could actually facilitate the goal. They see leadership weaknesses in others. When you see those things, you have a choice. You can check out. Or you can change what you can where you can. The leaders that are patiently courageous to change what they can where they can-- beginning with themselves-- are the ones who ultimately see larger change happen. Think Esther, Nehemiah, Joshua, Isaiah. Jesus. Don't check out. Make the change that only you can make, no matter how small, and entrust the rest to God.

Second, follow well. I believe this one so strongly. If you are faithful to the vision of another, God will be faithful to the vision he has given you. Sometimes, we are required to follow a leader we do not like or respect, we are asked to implement decisions we do not agree with, we are subordinate to people who are not as gifted as us. That's when we have to make a decision-- will we follow well? Or abandon post because we think (and perhaps rightfully so) that we can do it better? Anyone can bail. Only great leaders in the making can follow well. Follow well, and you will ultimately create leaders who follow you well.


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