No leader, you included, sets out to sabotage their leadership efforts. Your lack of appropriate delegation, however, is doing just.
“It is easier to go to a consistent extreme
than to stay at the center of biblical tension.”
J. Robertson McQuilkin
Somewhere in the mid-90s, I heard a well-known Christian leader make a statement about the dire need for leaders. His premise was that seminaries had traditionally spent so much time preparing pastors to preach that they had never trained them to lead. His recommendation was that more seminaries train pastors to be leaders. Due to his reputation and my personal friendship with him, I jumped on board and began to argue the same point. I now regret that argument, to an extent. Let me explain.
The revolutionary war gave the United States of America the freedom she professed in the Declaration of Independence. On our 241st birthday as a sovereign nation, the freedoms we enjoy are still a reason to celebrate. The division in our country, however, is nothing to celebrate. You, the leader of people, have the opportunity and an obligation to bridge the divide.
Some people seem like natural born leaders, but most of us develop into a leader. We hone our skills, learn from our mistakes, and, God willing, grow as leaders.
This time last year, I was just a firefighter. Now, I’m leading change across the state of Tennessee, advocating for people with special needs, and training first responders to recognize and more effectively interact with people with special needs in emergency situations. I didn’t ask for leadership, leadership was given to me – and that might be your situation too.
You’ve heard for years that compensation is not the primary factor for keeping talent at your company and keeping them job satisfied. Several other environmental concerns are what keep people working with you and happy about it.
Trust, as they say, is one of those things that takes a long time to get and an instant to lose. Are you worried about the level of trust your people have in you? Guess what? It’s your responsibility to create a culture where you are trusted to lead and you trust your staff to accomplish the mission of the organization.
When I started my Ph.D. program, the dean of the school said that those three letters behind our names would open up doors we couldn’t yet imagine. Having the right degree or certification is important and often necessary to land your dream job, build your income stream, or achieve your dreams, but leaders also recognize where credentials really don’t matter.
Servant Leadership changes the focus from just the needs of the leader to a more holistic style of leadership that considers the needs of the follower. The servant leader not only recognizes that their followers have needs, but he also takes responsibility for serving his team by meeting their needs.
Leaders sometimes make the mistake of assuming that because they are the leader/boss/manager in the room they have an expectation from others to offer advice, give direction, and own the conversation. Those behaviors may have been what got you your leadership position, but if you want the respect of your followers, it’s time to make a change to your behavior.