Here’s the lie:
Leadership is a solo endeavor performed by the rugged individualist. With or without the red cape, leaders rise above needing help. They make it happen. Other people are spectators.
Here’s the truth:
All of that is a steaming pile of you know what. Leaders need community. They need it for their soul, they need it for perspective, they need it to help them lead well. You need it and so do I.
Sure, leadership calls for courageous decisions and can be an isolating reality at times. However, you and I find strength in relationships. We thrive best in community.
All of us want to know that we are part of a team. We want to know that while we do our part, others who walk alongside us will share the load. Community is the place where others care about our well being as much as they care about our productivity.
If you are going to be a leader who empowers others—one that cultivates, equips, and releases others to make significant impact—you have to give attention to the relational fabric of the environment you are creating for them. Spend time and capital to create space for community. Support relational connections where collaboration can flow. Lead your team in encouragement and celebration. Fight the pull of results-gravity that makes your urgent agenda, goals, and unfinished task list the only thing you talk about.
The demands of the urgent will seduce you to worry more about the production that comes from people than about the people who produce.
If you are a leader in ministry, a friendly reminder. Ministry is about the work that we do and the people we do it with.
If we fall to create strong relational community…
Leaders lose perspective, especially in the midst of demanding circumstances.
Supervision becomes institutional, impersonal, and heavy-handed rather than empowering, life-giving, and natural.
Problems take on a demoralizing life of their own.
People miss God's deep ongoing work in their own lives whey they on the tasks in front of them.
We will create a culture of drivenness and all the fallout that comes with it.
YOUR TURN: what can you do this week to strengthen the bonds of community among those you lead or influence?
This is the fourth of six installments in a series on “How to create an empowering environment.” Check out the previous three posts:
Give Them a Compelling Reason
The Power of Clear Responsibility
Give People Essential Resources