Leadership is tough. If you’re like me, you struggled in your first leadership role because you lacked experience and didn’t have the freedom to make mistakes in low-risk environments.
When I jumped in my first real leadership role, the pressure was on and I panicked.
What if it didn’t have to be that way?
What if we could give our team members experiences that would transform their leadership for the rest of their lives?
What if we could give them opportunities that would shape how they lead other churches, businesses, and world changing organizations?
As leaders, we can add a lot of value to individuals on your team just by giving them a few intentional moments.
1. Show Up.
As leaders, we are often have more on our plate than we can really do. As a result, our team is often the ones that get cut from the calendar, because, for the most part, they’ll understand.
We start skipping meetings, rescheduling individual meetings, then we stop going to events unless we’re directly in charge or speaking at the event.
When we stop showing up for these events, even the ones that seem small, our team begins to feel as though you don’t value them or respect their role or position.
Seeds of bitterness begin to swell and now you have drama and an unhealthy team that needs more of your attention than it did before.
Show up as often as you can.
Prioritize what needs to be on your calendar and what can go.
Most leaders have to miss out on their team’s meetings, events, etc. because we don’t protect our calendar from the things that are less important than those we lead.
2. Give the Credit Away.
Leaders often get the credit for things we weren’t directly involved in. Yes, we put together the awesome team. Yes, we found the dynamic talent. But a lot of what we’re able to accomplish is due to the amazing skills of the people around us.
Share the credit with your team publicly.
Let your church know how hard the people on your team worked. Let them know things could not have happened without them.
When you’re more apt to share the credit, you’ll most likely see an increase in how great things are pulled off next time. Your team will be more excited to show up and go above and beyond… it’s human nature.
One great way to do this is during Pastor Appreciation Month: Publicly ask your church to take care of the other pastors and staff on your team.
I knew one pastor that asked his church to not give anything to him for Pastor Appreciation, but to instead take really great care of the people on his staff that don’t get the recognition they often deserve.
3. Share the Platform.
One of the greatest impacts on my leadership as a pastor and public speaker was serving under a pastor who was willing to share the platform often. He wasn’t interested in building a church around his personality, nor was he naive enough to think he was the only one on staff that could do what he did.
When you share the platform you give younger leaders an opportunity to improve their gifts, gain real experience, and learn valuable lessons.
Don’t share the pulpit only on the Sundays you’re out of town or when attendance is expected to be low, like during a holiday.
Share it randomly… when you’re there… and sit in the front and take notes.
Take notes on the message. However, you should also take notes to evaluate and provide helpful feedback.
When the rest of the church can see that you value what other leaders on your staff are saying, you give more credibility for that leader to be seen as a “real pastor”.
4. Get Behind Sometimes.
Even the best leaders can’t do everything the best.
Good leaders surround themselves with a team of people that can do things better.
You’ve built a great team. You have pulled together some great talents. Now, let those on your team lead when appropriate, and acknowledge their leadership to the rest of the team.
When you do this, you empower your team members, increase their confidence, and help them grow as leaders.
When you follow them, model to the rest of the team what you expect from them as they follow you and each other.
When we intentionally empower the individuals on our team and help them become great leaders, we’re able to provide future generations with exceptional leaders because we’ve given these leaders real-life experiences, the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them, and the opportunity to see what true servant leadership looks like.
As leaders, it’s our responsibility to mold great leaders. Jesus didn’t show up and do everything himself. He didn’t put the movement on the church on his shoulders. He trained and empowered men and women to lead… because he wouldn’t always be there… and it was too valuable to fall apart when he left.