HOW YOUNG LEADERS CAN HELP OLDER LEADERS

This blog post comes from Dan Reiland.  It is one of the best I have read in sometime. – STEVE

Leading someone older than you can be challenging.

As the Boomer generation ages and hands the baton of leadership to the X’ers and Millennials, more and more young leaders find themselves leading those older than themselves.

This is an important question: Why do some young leaders do it well and some do it poorly?

I remember the first time this really hit me. On my first day as Executive Pastor in San Diego, I suddenly realized I would be leading staff who were older and more experienced than I was. That was intimidating, to say the least. Thoughts went through my mind like, “What do I have to offer them?” And, “Why would they listen to me?

When young staff leads older volunteers with more life experience, they often encounter the same feeling. Over the years I’ve learned that’s a pretty natural response. In fact, it’s actually healthy.

In contrast, if a younger leader assumes, and behaves like they know more than the older leaders they serve, that’s a pretty arrogant disposition. That never goes well.

Even though intimidation, insecurity or lack of confidence can be part of a normal response to leading people with more life experience than you, it’s important for you not to get stuck there. Don’t let your leadership become paralyzed because you are young. You have much to offer.

7 Insights to help young leaders lead older leaders:

1) Remember, you were chosen.

You were picked from all the others. There’s a reason for that. Someone, or several people, saw gifts, talents, and ability in you. Whether you were hired onto a staff team or you were asked to be a leader in a volunteer role, they chose you!

Don’t talk yourself out of deserving this opportunity to lead people. If you focus on their good and the good of the church, you are off to a good start.

2) Embrace the truth that they want you to win.

It’s extremely rare that someone wants you to fail, particularly those who are older than you. Yes, sometimes a few can be difficult, but every once in a while you can be difficult too. Right?

They want you to win. Think about how hard they have worked for a long time; they want all that effort to matter.

If you also want them to “win” spiritually, in their family life, at work and in life in general, this group will eagerly follow you! And they may become your most loyal and strongest advocates.

READ MORE

Advertisements

5 HONEST STRUGGLES MOST CHURCH LEADERS DON’T WANT TO ADMIT

This is one of the best leadership posts that I have read in the last week-STEVE

BY CARY NIEUWHOF

Most of us who get into full-time ministry do so because we sense a calling, not because it was a ‘career path’.

Chances are you got in this because you love God, deeply, right?

So it’s always a bit surprising and unusual then when ministry leaders find themselves struggling with the very God who called them into this in the first place. This is true whether you’re paid, bi-vocational or even a full-time volunteer.

Ministry can not only be hazardous to your spiritual health, it can be confusing.

But the good news is that struggling with God is normal. You are not alone.

The best leaders struggled with God.

Jacob wrestled an angel.

Moses almost quit more than a few times.

Jeremiah tried to quit but couldn’t.

Today’s struggles might be a bit different, but in some ways struggle is inevitable.

I personally have struggled with every one of the five challenges I outline in this post.  And what’s amazing to me is that you can get through them. You really can.

Sometimes all you need to know is you’re not alone. And you’re not, even if you feel that way.

Here are 5 ways ministry leaders struggle in their relationship with God:

1. You see setbacks in ministry as a personal statement from God about you

Hey, everybody thinks this way when life circumstances don’t tilt in their favor (why did God allow me to have cancer/lose this job/be in this place?). So it’s natural that this line of thinking would emerge in ministry.

Just because things aren’t going the way you want in ministry isn’t an automatic sign that God is angry with you. I’m always amazed that constant imprisonment didn’t cause Paul to second guess himself or God.

God isn’t always punishing you, even if it feels like he is.

The key is to take the setbacks in front of you seriously, not personally. You’ll be so much healthier.

2. You believe that greater faithfulness should result in greater impact in ministry 

Ever tried to improve your personal devotional life so your church would do better? Gosh, I wish this wasn’t true but in the early days of ministry, I really thought greater personal fervor would automatically translate into greater ministry impact.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

7 BIGGEST BLUNDERS OF EXPERIENCED LEADERS

Dan Rockwell is a daily source of great teaching on leadership.  Here is the best of his blog posts this past week – STEVE

#1. Forgetting who serves who. Leaders serve others so others can serve others. It’s easy to begin thinking the people around you are there to serve you.

Repeat to yourself, “I’m here to bring out the best in others.”

#2. Blaming rather than taking ownership. The first question real leaders ask when someone under-performs is, “What will I do to maximize their performance next time?”

#3. Thinking that self-perception is accurate. I’ve read that only about a third of us see ourselves the way others see us. You think you’re nice. Others think you’re a jerk. You see yourself as open to feedback and suggestions. Others see you as closed and rigid.

Hire a coach to perform a narrative 360 review. This process goes beyond filling out questionnaires. All participants are interviewed. To be effective, make this a forward-facing activity, not simply a backward-facing witch hunt.

READ MORE ….

DUCKS TO MONKEYS

Reposting from Dan Rockwell on LEADERSHIP FREAK

It takes largeness of spirit to value ducks when you’re a monkey. Foolish monkeys complain about ducks. Wise monkeys maximize their potential.

Persistent disapproval de-energizes ducks.

Learn how to approve of ducks even while working to improve their quacking. But remember, a duck in a monkey mask will always waddle and quack.

Approve of those you hope will improve. Approval energizes the spirit and inspires bold quacking.

Points of celebration even with poor quackers:

  1. Celebrate any acknowledgement that quacking is below the bar. Excuses end progress. Pour into ducks if they recognize they quack poorly.
  2. Celebrate their potential for improved quacking. Untapped strength and unleveraged talent is latent potential. But don’t waste time trying to turn quacking ducks into squealing monkeys.
  3. Celebrate their passion and commitment to improve.
  4. Celebrate improved quacking.

Reassign or remove poor quackers if one of the above four qualities is missing.

Gratitude finds things to approve.

It takes skill to approve of ducks while working to improve their waddling and quacking. One key is ‘waddling with’ rather than ‘squealing aloof’.

READ MORE

5 WAYS TO MINIMIZE MINISTRY SILOS

Charles Stone of Stonewell Ministries has one of the most useful leadership blogs available, especially for pastors in churches.  This blog post speaks to a great challenge for any leader seeking to get people to work from the “big picture.” – Steve

5 WAYS TO MINIMIZE MINISTRY SILOS

by Charles Stone

Patrick Lencioni brought the concept of silos into the leadership conversation with this great book, Silos, Politics, and Turf WarsSilos occur in organizations and churches when leaders act like their ministry or team is the only one that matters. A silo attitude results in that leader or team only supporting, giving, or attending functions that pertain to them. It can be kill a ministry and result in many problems. In this post I suggest ways to minimize ministry silos.

First, what problems do ministry silos cause? Here are a few.

  • Unhealthy competition
  • Jealousy
  • Hurt feelings
  • Pride
  • Lack of trust
  • Fighting over limited resources
  • Foot dragging
  • Politics

So how can a leader minimize ministry silos? Below I suggest a key foundation and then 5 pillars to build on that foundation to rid your ministry of silos.

If you want to change your culture to minimize and remove silos, build from the bottom up. Build a solid foundation on the Biblical concept of unity. Teach and train your leaders often about unity remembering that unity does not mean uniformity. God gives each of us unique gifts and abilities which creates a healthy church. Keep these and other Scriptures in front of your leaders.

  • Psa. 133.1 (NIV) How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
  • Rom. 15.5 (NIV) May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
  • Eph. 4.3 (NIV) Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
  • 1Cor. 1.10 (NLT) I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

READ MORE

LEADERS WHO CARE

BY STEVE DUNN

One of the quality leadership marks in ministry is the belief of those that are being led are being lead by a leader who cares for them.  Dan Reiland has shared a post that I want to pass along to you that handles this with clarity.

THE WINNING COMBINATION FOR ANY LEADER

­

Have you experienced a teacher or professor who was brilliant in their subject, but didn’t seem to care about you as their student?

Have you encountered a doctor or nurse who seemed to be a genuinely caring person, but only average in their skills?

This is a common experience and can be true in anyone from a plumber to a therapist.

But when you find someone who is both competent and cares, that is an extremely valuable person.

The same is true for leaders.

When a leader is highly competent and clearly demonstrates that he or she sincerely cares, that is always a winning combination.

I’ve met pastors who are brilliant Bible teachers, but somewhat distant from the people. I’ve also met warm and loving pastors who are only average in their communication skills.

Here’s an intriguing question. Which do you think is more important? Competence or Caring?

The quick answer might be, “It depends.”  Perhaps you’d say: “I want the pilot of my next flight to be competent; I don’t care if he’s aloof and distant. I don’t need him to hold my hand, I need him to land the plane.” Fair enough.

But there are far more situations where I think you will say caring matters. For example, I want my dentist to be really good, and I want him to care. I don’t want some guy with a drill in his hand with zero compassion!

You don’t want the teacher of your 1st grader to be brilliant in early childhood education, and yet be cold or even harsh toward your child.

As a leader, I don’t think we have to settle for either/or, and I know the people who follow you don’t have to settle.

Candidly, people have choices. They will search until they find a leader, doctor, teacher, coach, boss etc., who is both caring and competent.

Two Truths to Help You Move Forward:

1) Caring isn’t automatic.

Not everyone cares. We agree on that.

You can’t learn to care. It’s not a skill.

READ MORE

ENCOURAGEMENT IS 51% OF LEADERSHIP

­IMG_8766Years ago while attending leadership conferences in Anderson IN conducted by Injoy Ministries and John Maxwell, I was introduced to Dan Reiland.  I recently began subscribing to his blog.  Here is a recent post you will find helpful as a leader. – Steve

Encouragement provides the emotional fuel that enables people to hold longer, reach farther and dig deeper than previously believed possible. John Maxwell says that encouragement is 51% of leadership. I believe that. As a leader, your role is to give people hope, to build them up and help them believe in themselves in a greater measure than they have before. In short, to live a better life.

Do others see you as an encourager?

Encouragement isn’t something that you do from a checklist of “things to do today.” It’s a way of life for a leader. Encouragement is not a soft expression from a weak leader. The toughest of good leaders understand that it’s something core to sustained influence. Essentially, sincere encouragement comes from a deep love and belief in people, and a desire to see them experience life in a better way.

Encouragement

Encouragers naturally draw people to them.

Let me raise the bar on the definition for encouragement. As a leader in a local church, if you are an encourager, people will naturally migrate to you. When they see you, they smile and instinctively walk toward you. This is not about a charismatic personality. It doesn’t matter if five people seek you out or fifty-five people seek you out. The point is that people will literally move to you because you cause their life to be a little brighter. I’m not talking about people who want permission for something, an extension cord or keys to the storage area, but people who just want to be around you!

Let’s be honest, life is wonderful but it’s difficult. True? Do you have any financial challenges? How’s your health? Do you have kids? Life is good, but it has plenty of challenges. Life will press people down, so anyone who consistently lifts people up (sincerely) gains the ability to influence—meaning to lead!

If you are a leader in a local church and people don’t migrate to you, there is a reason. You need to discover what it is. Ask someone you trust, who loves you, and will tell the truth. For now, start encouraging others. Do it sincerely and often.

Encouragers communicate with a positive bias.

John Maxwell is the most consistently positive person I know. He has high faith in people and sees life for its potential over its problems. He’s not unrealistic. John knows that life can be difficult. He simply refuses to get stuck there. You just never hear John complain. That’s the way it is with an encouraging leader, they communicate with a positive bias.

As Christian leaders it’s important to encourage spiritually. Continue to point people toward God, challenge their faith, and help them see that their trust in God is the best way to provide true, deep and meaningful encouragement. Though as leaders we must encourage, this helps people learn to find encouragement in God.

….READ MORE