I’ve written about what to do when those you look up to let you down. With that numerous requests have come in asking what one should say to those he has let down. The incessant requests now push me to ignore my reluctance.
This is a guest post by DJ McPhail, senior leader of Liberty Church. Follow him on @saintdj and his blog.
After founding a church and leading it for the past 20 years I learned:
God has a purpose for everyone!
- We are all leaders:
God’s purpose thrusts us all into leadership. Everyone influences someone; thus we are all leaders.
- Always encourage people to lead:
As a leader, my responsibility and privilege is to respect every person, irrespective of age or gender, and to inspire them to lead in life.
- My family is my responsibility:
When it comes to priorities, family is the first arena of leadership. It carries the most profound consequences to a person’s joy and a sense of significance.
- Most people are not thinking as much about you as you think:
Among those you lead, some will love you, most will like you and few will criticize, oppose and resist you. Be grateful for those who love and support you, be gracious to those who like you and don’t worry nor waste any energy or time on the others.
- Hold people lightly:
People come and people go. They are God’s children not mine!
- Never be a threatened leader:
Encourage people to make decisions, show initiative, take responsibility and lead. No one can threaten my job or position, as I don’t have a job. I have a call from God and there is more than enough for all of us to do.
- Only God:
When I do what I can do for His Glory then He will do what only He can do, and that makes all the difference.
- Never complain:
Church leaders often complain they are tired and feel used. But they forget that when we met Jesus and were consumed with His love, grace & mercy for us we prayed, “Lord use me”. Stop weeping and start sweeping, serving, and leading!
I wrote a post, “Why You Should Never Appoint Caretaker / Interim Leaders” that explored some reasons why caretaker or interim leaders may not be a great for the long-term of your enterprise. However, Michael made a valid point in commenting, that sometimes leadership finds itself with its back against the wall. Thus in instances that interim leaders have to be appointed, these are some of the things you must take into account:
Be very clear about how long the interim / caretaker leadership will be in place. Not having a precise time frame can cause your team to be unsure about actions they need to take.
Do they have the freedom to do certain things in the absence of a more permanent leader? Without clear boundaries functions that depend on the particular leadership may take a knock. You sow seeds of apathy when a clear time frame is not in place.
Acting [insert title here] is prone to act without addressing core issues if the appointed leadership does not see their presence having a long-term impact. Thus, you must give your caretaker leadership full authority to enable them to fulfill the function of their (temporary) role.
This is important especially when the interim leaders need authority of their predecessor to address challenges. In some instances interim leaders may not have authority to fire people from a team when that is necessary for advancing. This can make the caretaker leaders nurses to problems that can be fixed.
Everything in your enterprise is connected. Make sure that you, and the rest of your enterprise understand the implications of the caretaker leadership in relation to the impact on all other functions.
When you appoint caretaker leadership ensure that you are not treating their function in isolation [Tweet this]
As a leader, you must always keep the big picture in sight; yet realize the importance of each function that completes the picture. The temporary ‘patch’ may cause a lot more dominoes if not handled and viewed in context of the enterprise at large.
I highly recommend you also read (if you haven’t done so already):
- Why You Should Never Appoint Caretaker / Interim Leaders
- Dealing With The Ghosts Of My Predecessors
- The Ghosts Of My Predecessors
What what you add? I really would love your to hear your thoughts…
We may say we’re not but act like we are. Perfect, that is. The truth still stands; no one is perfect. Everyone generally accepts this for everybody else except when they feel violated by others.
Worse, still, when it is a leader that has failed. Whether you’re a leader in particular context or a part of a team being led, you’re aware of the shortcomings of those you serve with and those whose supervision you serve under.
Momentum enhances traction. Whether in general life or leadership, it is desirable for propelling us. In fact, leaders often wrestle with the question on how to build great momentum.
In personal lives we wonder how to get momentum for new ventures we’ve taken on and at other times for things we’ve been at for a long while. Momentum is built. Some times things do just happen and, voila! Some of our endeavors get a life of their own, so to speak.
When this happen the scramble is often how to keep up. When we feel we have a handle on things the next thought and challenge is how do we maintain this. For some, the thought is, “How can we even make this bigger”.
Movement and momentum seem to compliment each other. Somehow we carry a fear of either not being in motion or moving too slow. When things have been difficult, we’re glad to have little movement, and we appreciate with a phrases such as, “at least we’re moving forward”.
You and I have to be careful that our desire for even the tiniest step does not come from a place of fear of stopping. Stopping a particular activity, be it in your personal capacity or at an organizational level, may mean the death of some things.
We often do not want to be responsible for the death of some things. We get better when we stop some things. Chances are, you thought of something you could stop just after reading the previous sentence. We get better when we stop some things.
The death some things is often the womb of other things. In fact some things can never get life as long as other things still have life. Death of our activities and endeavors may be the best thing for greater ones waiting to come to life in and through us.
Fight the fear of stopping what you know you need to stop, so you can get better, greater in areas you desperately need to. Feeling sorry and guilty for parasitic activities may kill not only your dreams but you also.
Sometimes stopping may not be permanent. This is called rest. Sometimes stepping away from the frustrating mundane allows us to recoup and return with fresher vision and greater passion. We fear stopping because we think things will fall apart if we do; yet nothing ever does.
Think about the times you really could never get around to doing something. Or you were down the flu. When you got back on feet there were more times that nothing really changed much that there were times they completely came undone.
Continuing in endeavors that you know you should be stopping does nothing to better anything. You don’t need more courage to stop. You just need to decide and act. Stop what you need to stop. Start again on the same thing when you’re renewed. Or, start something completely new. Build your momentum. Never be afraid to ask, “Is this time to push for greater momentum or to stop?”
What makes stopping for you a difficult thing to do?