Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.

Read more

Flipping the Org Chart

I sat down with a friend that I have issues with yesterday afternoon. Yeah, issues. Got anyone like that in your life? Someone you love and care for deep down inside, but can’t seem to get along with because of personality differences, orientations of the heart, or simply a difference in opinion over the best shade of blue? Yeah, I’ve got those kind of people in my life, too. The kind you want to fight for, but in the process of fighting for, often feel like you’re fighting against. It’s hard to deal with conflict in these relationships, or even to maintain them, but in facing the conflict, I’ve found both perspective and common ground almost every time. We got to talking about responsibility, empowerment, and authority. As we were doing so, I remembered something I heard a ways back somewhere about turning the organizational chart upside down. In most organizations, be it a business, committee, church, or even a family, power and authority start at the top and drift downward, like this:   Everything “hangs” from the CEO, parent, chairman, or pastor. They have power and authority, and their decisions take precedence over just about everything else… and everyone KNOWS it. The “deliverer” at the bottom of the chart knows it. He knows his paycheck is earned partly because it’s creating value for someone higher up the food chain. In many cases, he also feels like his decisions carry little weight, and that he has to “check in” with those above him to avoid stepping on toes, hurting feelings, or even losing his job. He feels belittled, stifled, and...

Scope Creep in Exodus 18

Today on the Daily Audio Bible we read Exodus 18. There are many stories I enjoy revisiting in our yearly revolution through the word, but this one has become both special and a continual challenge to me. Here’s the story that always connects with me:  12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law in God’s presence. 13 The next day Moses sat down to judge the people, and they stood around Moses from morning until evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw everything he was doing for them he asked, “What is this thing you’re doing for the people? Why are you alone sitting as judge, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?” 15 Moses replied to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I make a decision between one man and another. I teach [them] God’s statutes and laws.” 17 “What you’re doing is not good,” Moses’ father-in-law said to him. 18 “You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you. You can’t do it alone. 19 Now listen to me; I will give you some advice, and God be with you. You be the one to represent the people before God and bring their cases to Him. 20 Instruct them about the statutes and laws, and teach them the way to live and what they must...

Where I stand now – Leadership

Leadership. I’ve learned so much about this, both from the things I’ve been taught, the things I’ve observed in others, or the things I’ve learned by teaching others. I taught a lesson to the youth at my church a couple months back where we watched a YouTube video called “The First Follower.” Looking back, that was one of those teaching moments that probably means much more to the teacher than the students. I have taken leadership roles in the past for a number of reasons, sometimes because no one else will, sometimes because I felt the need to be in charge, and sometimes just because I really wanted to see a mission succeed and saw an opportunity for myself to help achieve it. More often than not, though, my attempts at “leading,” especially when it’s a position when I’m “in charge” have been met with a bit of frustration. I’m finding more and more that I long to be that “first follower.” I long to not just find something and go achieve it, but to find a cause that not only I, but someone else, wants to achieve, and then to go do it together. Teams. Partnerships. I love that. I love not going alone. It’s becoming central to a lot of my wants and dreams. One of the ones I remember the most was when I thought up, “to share my story with a room full of people.” That was shortly followed by, “To help someone else share their story with a room full of people.” In reality, the second one excites me more. It’s not that my...

When did I become a leader?

“When did I become a leader?” I had that question asked to me via text message last night by a teenage friend of mine. I had mentioned to her about how a little prayer ministry she was championing didn’t have anybody except little old me show up this past week while she had been away. “But I don’t want people doing something just because I want them to do it,” she said. “I want them to want to do it themselves!” How common is that desire in the heart of so many people. We find something we are passionate about, we bring in some others and they seem to love it too, but the moment we take a break or miss a meeting or ask them to step up for themselves, no one shows up. And immediately, at least for me and (I think) my friend here, we get kicked into this “well maybe it’s not such a great idea if no one else really wants to do it” mode. I pulled a thought from Andy Stanley’s book, Visioneering, out for my friend last night. Leaders see what should be, and what could be, and they go after it. They see things well before others do, whether it’s a need that they can meet, a problem that they might be able to solve, or just a passion they can set their heart on, and they go after it. They inspire others to come along side of them, and even if those people don’t totally “get it” right away, they care enough about both the concern and the person whom...