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View Leadership Lids

Leadership Lids


Leadership Lids 1 (of 5)
Posted: 28 Jan 2008 05:01 AM CST

We all occasionally (or often) bump up against leadership lids. A leadership lid is anything that limits our leadership. For example, if we always have to be in control, our leadership reach will be diminished. Or if we are unwilling to delegate, our ministries will struggle to grow. We’ll hit a lid or ceiling.

This week, I’ll talk about five leadership lids:

Low Altitude Thinking
As usual, I’m writing this post on an airplane. The world looks very different from an airplane than it does on the ground. So will an organization.
As leaders, it is too easy to get bogged down in the details of our ministries that we rarely “rise above” for a different perspective. Instead of always working in our ministries, it often helps to work on our ministries. There is a big difference.

Low altitude questions might include:
•  Did we have enough greeters?
•  Did the bulletin have typos?
•  Did all the first time guests receive a letter?
•  Is the air conditioner in the kids’ wing repaired?

It is occasionally wiser to ponder high altitude questions like:
•  How can we increase the spiritual climate of our church attenders?
•  How can we as a church better live the gospel?
•  What needs to change about our strategy to better make disciples?
•  How can we create a bigger “vision-buy-in” from the people in our ministry?

It is challenging for me to get into a higher altitude mindset in the office. The urgent often distracts from the most important leadership issues. Getting away and disrupting the norm often allows me to get a higher altitude.
When is the last time you looked at your ministry from a higher altitude? What did you see?

Leadership Lids 2 (of 5)
Posted: 29 Jan 2008 05:03 AM CST

Stagnant Styles of Leadership
When I find something that works, it is tempting to stick with it. In leadership, we must walk the fine line between staying with our strengths and becoming stagnant.

Most of us settle into comfortable leadership routines and styles. People generally do well under leaders when they know what to expect. Organizations can thrive in predictable routines. They also can become flat and stagnant.

As a leader, I constantly work to grow and allow God to evolve my style of leadership.

Here are a few examples of what I do to shake things up:
•  Invite outside feedback. Those who work closely with us quickly lose objectivity.
•  Ask peers and/or direct reports for suggestions. Those around us often hope for the chance to make suggestions for improvements but may not mention their ideas unless asked.
•  Follow a leadership hunch. This might be a theory or idea that may or may not work. Following the hunch may lead us into a short-term failure. Small failures are great at spurring growth.
•  Disrupt the rhythms. Working in different places and at different times changes our perspectives.
•  Traveling. Seeing more of the world and meeting other leaders is invaluable.
•  Probing the organization. Leaders can become isolated from those who are on the ground making things happen. Digging for ideas, information, and insight from people we rarely interact with is vital.
•  Work the “change” muscles. Changing anything is better than changing nothing. Eat at a new restaurant. Read a different kind of book. Hang out with someone outside your normal circle. Preach on something you’ve never preached on before.

What keeps you from becoming stagnant? (Or… are you stuck in a leadership rut?)

Leadership Lids 3 (of 5)
Posted: 30 Jan 2008 05:04 AM CST

Choosing Easy Over Right
When things are running smoothly, most of us don’t like to “rock the boat.” Instead of addressing important issues, we’ll often let potential challenges go unaddressed. I call it “choosing easy over right.”

The easy thing might be to let a weak staff member stay weak.
The right thing may be to coach, correct, or release that staff member.
The easy thing might be to stay in your current building.
The right thing may be to build, move, or add an experience.
The easy thing might be to allow a struggling ministry to continue.
The right thing may be to overhaul it, change the leader, or dismantle it.
The easy thing might be to avoid talking about money.
The right thing might be to challenge the church to be more generous and be better stewards.
The easy thing might be to preach on a subject that will draw a crowd.
The right thing might be to preach on something that will shrink the crowd but honor God.

Is there an area in your ministry (or life) where you’re choosing easy over right?

Leadership Lids 4 (of 5)
Posted: 31 Jan 2008 05:05 AM CST

Dreaming Small Dreams
One of the biggest leadership lids is lack of vision and dreams.
•  Some ministries stay mostly ineffective because the leaders don’t have a vision for effective.
•  Some churches don’t reach people without Christ because the leaders don’t have a vision or heart for evangelism.
•  Some kids’ ministries don’t develop growing disciples because no one has a vision to do so.

People follow big vision.

(And by big vision I don’t mean just big fund raisers and big buildings. More than big dollars and bricks, people value life change.)

When I was 22, I met a Methodist pastor named Nick Harris who had a vision to reach downtown Oklahoma City for Christ. He also talked about bringing life back into the Methodist Church and about sending missionaries around the world. His passion and vision captured my heart and it was an honor to join his team.

If I moved to your town, would your vision inspire me to join your mission? Or would I look elsewhere for a big vision?

Leadership Lids 5 (of 5)
Posted: 01 Feb 2008 05:06 AM CST

Ignoring God
Perhaps the biggest leadership lids form when a leader ignores what God is saying.
•  Perhaps the leader might ignore some of God’s moral laws.
•  Perhaps a leader might ignore some of God’s biblical ministry mandates.
•  Perhaps a leader might ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

When God directs us, we must follow him by faith.

As I think back over the years, I can remember too many times that I didn’t do what I thought God was telling me to do. Some of the times, I was afraid. During one assignment, I was afraid of the certain criticism I’d draw. Several times I just felt too exhausted to extend the energy of obedience.

Each time I created a lid of disobedience.

When was a time you ignored God’s direction? Is there anything God is calling you to do that you aren’t doing?

Category:Fruitfulness - Years 2-3