As you may know, for the past 9 months I have been attending night school lectures on my church's Leadership Academy. I have been learning lots, and gathering some important lessons for my life from it. So far here is a summary:
- You need to learn how to lead yourself in your faith before you can start leading others - this means becoming disciplined in your own spiritual life (this is an ongoing process!)
- Leadership is basically just influence - if there are people that follow you or are impacted by your life in some way then you are a leader and you have a responsibility to lead those people well (your decisions and opinions might become theirs, so its not just you that you are deciding for...). A great example of this is being a parent - you are straight away a leader in your family.
- Jesus is the ultimate role model for our "leadership style" in showing us how to be servant leaders - that is what we should aspire to and study more and more as it is the most effective way to lead.
- When leading an organisation or ministry you can't expect to do it all on your own - the best leaders know the importance of a team and finding people to plug the gaps in their own leadership styles/skills.
- Great leaders are learners and are always looking for ways to improve themselves and their team. Whether that be a training course, a book or something else, it is always good to keep learning.
- You have to plan and work at becoming a great leader. No it doesn't just magically happen - a leader needs to have a good work ethic (although careful not to tip the balance too far and burn out) and plan to achieve their dreams and goals. Finding the next step is just as important as knowing the end point.
- You don't have to have it all figured out to make a difference as a leader. Sometimes we think that we have to be the finished product and know exactly where we are headed to make a difference in this world, but that is not true. If you have the faith to trust what God is telling you and to step out into whatever your situation is right now, then you can make a difference. It is better to do something small brilliantly than to do nothing at all because you are waiting for something bigger.
So there you have it. With one more term to go I am sure I have much more to learn and I am excited to look at ways that I can put all of this into practice in my everyday life and at church.