Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Those Who Lead Across

I am blessed to be surrounded by lots of leaders in my life. Those who lead down (mentors and disciple-makers), those who lead across (leaders in the trenches with me), and those who lead up (those who I technically lead but influence me equally).

Today, I want to give some shout outs to those who lead across.

I love the way Joel Schmidgall leads the campus pastor (CP) team at National Community Church. The way he leads, trains, encourages, and invests in those guys has been an inspiration to me and has given me some very practical ideas about how I can lead over in Team D World. He leads cross-departmentally at NCC. I don't report to him; but I love to follow him.

I'm grateful for guys like Alan Danielson, Ben Reed, and Spence Shelton who are doing similar work as me in other places-- creating discipleship opportunities and cultivating community. I appreciate the ability to share stories from the trenches and explore best practices and dream of new ways of doing discipleship together. We aren't even in the same city, but I'm grateful for the influence they have on my life.

I think about people like Ruthie, Christy, and Leslie-- some girls I affectionately refer to as the Hungry Mothers. They have served as friends, accountability buddies, and life editors for the past 10 years. We don't have similar vocations, but they lead me. My love for Sabbath can be traced back to their challenge to find a new pace for my life. My ability to get my first book out was tied to their constant emails to check on status.

I think about Kate Schmidgall, who is in an entirely different profession than I am. But she asks questions that shake and shape my philosophy of leadership, creativity, spiritual formation, and personal growth.

I've observed a few things about those who lead across effectively:
  • They recognize the value of cross-pollination, so they engage in it themselves.
  • They prioritize time in their very busy schedules to make sure leading-across relationships and environments can be cultivated.
  • They posture themselves as learners.
  • They look for best practices in lots of different places.
  • They are aggressive encouragers.
  • They celebrate the wins and extol the gifts of their peers.
  • They realize they are a part of something much bigger than themselves-- they recognize that their success is tied in part to their investment in someone else's success.


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