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Church Leadership Passion Team Vision

Confidence For The Ministry Leader

Leadership can be challenging, especially in times where none of those we lead express confidence in us. What can be even a greater challenge is when you, as a leader, have no confidence in your leadership either!

Those we lead can lose confidence in our leadership perhaps due to a series bad decisions. Perhaps from feeling you are not making a wise decision on something in particular. Sometimes the leader doubts himself and draws courage from the confidence and affirmation from those he leads but not always.

But when the needed affirmation does not come what can the leader do? I don’t have many ideas or suggestions for this but I think I have one that must always be the first option and not the last resort:

4-6 David and his men burst out in loud wails—wept and wept until they were exhausted with weeping. David’s two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail widow of Nabal of Carmel, had been taken prisoner along with the rest. And suddenly David was in even worse trouble. There was talk among the men, bitter over the loss of their families, of stoning him.

6-7 David strengthened himself with trust in his God. He ordered Abiathar the priest, son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the Ephod so I can consult God.” Abiathar brought it to David.

8 Then David prayed to God, “Shall I go after these raiders? Can I catch them?”

The answer came, “Go after them! Yes, you’ll catch them! Yes, you’ll make the rescue!” (1 Samuel 30:6-8, The Message)

When you get to challenging situations with your team or organization, one thing the leader must never, do is fall in the same despair as those he leads. The survival and thriving of an organization is dependent on the leader rising above the despair of the ones he leads.

Before he can lead others out of hopelessness he needs to lead himself out of it first! David, king of Israel, looked into the future by looking to God. Seeking God allows us to see from a vantage point that builds or strengthens our hope and expectation for what lies ahead.

Moments of uncertainty and diffidence can be either defining or destructive depending on where you turn to ‘lift yourself’ out of the situation and ultimately the team around you. The depth of the leader’s walk in seeking God directly affects the boldness with which He faces the future and leads others into it.

The confidence of the leader is derived from the assurance of having God’s backing for an endeavor, from seeking God’s face. The leader confident of God’s backing will lead his people confidently too! Your first option for building confidence in leading as a ministry leader must be seeking God and not your last resort.

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Leadership Life Passion Team Vision

Dominating From The “T”

One of my lessons from last week was on the squash court. I played one of the best games I’ve played this year! One of the fundamental lessons my coach taught me in high school was the importance of the “T”. Let me explain. The “T” on the squash court is sort of the (technical) center of the court.

The chances of you reaching just about any shot played are increased significantly when you’re positioned there. (My high school coach will be proud of me!) The player who can return to the “T” after playing or returning a shot is generally more likely to win a rally.

Before last week I played terrible games. I got into the games a little too late and as a result  lost a couple of matches. I hate losing! In last week’s match, I was down two games and if I’d lost the third game as well  I would’ve lost the match. During the break between the second and third game I decided to consult with one of my team mates.

I asked for opinion from someone watching and not in the game per se. If you want to improve on your “delivery”, your colleagues / teammates is a good place to start for feedback and pointers. I saw some of the mistakes and loss of points I made in a new light. As my team mate explained where I’d lost most of my points I realized something.

In some instances I had given the ball back to my opponent and had played shots that didn’t force him to move from the “T”. I made it easy for my opponent to score against me! My game only started improving after I kept playing the kinds of shots that would force my opponent off the T and allow me to dominate the T.

A reminder that one of the key ingredients to winning is positioning… This could mean your location mentally and even physically. Am sure you’ve witnessed organizations changing location in order to better their results or performance.

They consider several things e.g. moving closer to resource supply or to their (potential) beneficiaries. Perhaps the physical move you may need to make is a holiday, just to clear your thinking etc… Either way, the move is always intended to be one that would move the team or organization into a position of strength.

Perhaps the position you need to change is in the “mental space”  or frame of mind. Like I did, ask those around about areas they feel you may need to make adjustments. Sometimes the change that give us the edge is in our mindset or attitude. Sometimes we do need someone looking at us “from the outside” to tell us that our attitude stinks and needs an overhaul of sort!

Sometimes those around us tell us things we don’t want to hear but that is what is necessary to move us forward. Am not condoning imbalance or unfair criticism, but sometimes what makes criticism positive or negative is how we receive it and not just how it is given to us. Are you going to listen, asses, “spit the bones” out and grow or justify and make excuses when areas of possible growth are highlighted to you?

As you push toward your goals, ensure that you always return to a position that empowers you to move forward. Don’t waste the shots that you have now, they can be a good platform, empowering the ones you take after that.

As you reflect on how far you’ve come, and look ahead, remember to always return to the position of strength and think beyond the shot you taking now, but also the one you’re going to take after it. Remember to consult with your team or colleagues and return to the “T”. Time for you to be the one dominating from the “t”.

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Leadership Life Passion Productivity Team Vision

After The Preview, Before The Feature

When preparing to launch new projects, products or campaigns we often expend a lot of energy, time and other resources. We do this in order to ensure that whatever our focus starts off well and we get off to a flying start. After spending a lot of time and resources the launch becomes a flop. This is likely to happen when we have not take the time after the preparations, before the start, to replenish ourselves and resources. It is of the essence to allow enough time between that gap of finishing tests etc and the actual launch. Fill the gap with things that will allow for rest and replenishment.

The need to take adequate rest as part of our work is often stressed. But we tend to overlook the importance of resting or allowing  “breathing” before kick off! While preparations are to ensure that everything is in place before take off, we forget that we are actually using some energy that we will also need after launch. Take time to ensure that you, your team and resources are adequately replenished before launch. Rest is a form of preparation that is often overlooked. Don’t use so much energy in rehearsals that you lose momentum for the actual show! Don’t expend too much energy in the warm up, before the actual match…  If you do make sure you’ve done enough to get it back before the “main feature” .

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Leadership Life Passion Productivity Vision

Challenges Make The Win Sweeter

For the last few Mondays I’ve shared lessons from the road and squash court. For some reason that is where I seem to find myself  in reflection almost effortlessly.

Perhaps the reason it is those two places is it is in those moments I disconnect from the usual bustle. Have you noticed places where you easily can disconnect and reflect? I think it is those kind of places where complexity ceases to be daunting.

Productivity takes on a new face when we’re in environments that encourage it. Sometimes changing my environment has made significant difference between getting things done and the adverse. I played a game of squash which reminded me about one of the reasons winning matters for us.