Leadership Development Part 2

You can read Part 1 of these articles on leadership below.  This is Part 2 in a series of leadership posts I am writing to remind myself of what great leaders are a part of.  I invite you to join me on this journey.

In Part 1 we talked about how a good leader uses his free time.  This week I want to take a look at who a good leader spends their time with.  As a pastor, early on in my ministry I think I was pretty annoying to a few other pastors and leaders who had gone before me.  I tried to spend time with them, to understand what made them tick… a practice that was not only helpful to something that has shaped me into who I am today.  I will readily admit that this practice has gotten harder for me, only because I have struggle to carve out time to make it happen.

So, here are the kinds of people I see good leaders surrounding themselves with:

  1. Great examples of who you hope to be. The truth is, early on in my ministry I realized that there wasn’t a person that had it all together.  Some guys I knew were great dad’s, or great husbands; others I found were great communicators or comforting pastors, but no one had it all together.  I would spend time asking the right questions, imitating their styles, capturing their vocabulary so that I too could be better at what I did.

    Pick your examples wisely.  Some of the greatest communicators I knew were horrible parents or bosses.  Some of the best parents I knew were just bad at parenting or leading.  Leaders can learn anything from anyone.

  2. Others who need mentoring. Realizing that I was insufferable as I tried to learn from others made me realize that I too need to give back.  I may not have it all together but I must encourage others with my experiences and the little pieces of wisdom that I have gained to be where I am today.  It is also amazing what you learn from others and what you learn about yourself from these interactions.  Listen closely…
  3. Encouraging mentors who aren’t afraid to hurt your feelings. The apostle Paul talked about speaking the truth in love.  Don’t run from people who speak the truth.  Run from people who speak the truth in harsh, unproductive ways.  Sometimes the truth is going to hurt, but listen to those who can productively help you be a better person and leader in your home or business.

 

You really are a reflection of those you spend the most time with.  Make ALL your time count!

Leadership Development

Free Time… How a Leader Maximizes their Free Time

This is Part 1 of a series of Leadership posts I want to share.  Not just as an encouragement to you but also a reminder to me.  It seems the more I have going on in my life the easier it is to push my own development to the side.  So, here is some encouragement or maybe just a reminder of creating and feeding the leader inside of us all.

 

One of the things that has stuck out to me the most about the strong leaders in my life is how they utilize their free time.  Sometimes there is not much of it and if we’re not careful free time can easily become waste time.  I believe God has given us margins of free time in our lives for 2 important reasons, personal growth and fun.  Let’s face it, studies show you have to have fun!  At the same time your free time is the place you must learn to grow personally as well.  How you reconcile those times is best worked out with your family and the Lord.  Let me give out a few tips to gaining balance to our free-time.

  1.  What are you reading?  One thing about the quality leaders I have in my life is that they are always reading something to help them grow.  It may be a book about leadership, family, marriage, children, prayer, personal growth, etc., but it’s always something challenging their thinking and their actions.  Keep a good book in your car, by your nightstand, next to your chair you never know when free-time will allow a chapter or two.
  2. They know how to have fun.  A good leader knows when it is time to take a break!  One of the reasons I got into gardening a few years back was because I learned that relaxation happened when my hands were busy.  It’s a blast to dig for me.  It’s also something my entire family can be a part of as well.  I believe the one of the worst things that a leader or a parent can do to a family is hole up in the house and do nothing on free days.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to watch a good movie or a big football game but that’s not quality family play time.  Get out, go somewhere, do something…
  3. Continuing Education.  When I got my Bachelor’s degree many moons ago, I thought I was done with schooling forever.  Little did I know that if I wanted to be at the top of my game mentally and emotionally it would require continuing education.  I didn’t return back to school for a degree until much later but I found what I needed by attending conferences, listening to other preachers, reading topical books, and meeting with other pastors who have been there and allow me to pick their brain.  Always be learning.
  4. The dangerous box.  The mind sucking mutant!  I can honestly say that I have never personally purchased a video game machine.  I remember though, playing 007 Golden Eye on the Nintendo 64 for who knows how long (while I should have been studying) in college.  I’m not drawn to one those game machines at all today but if I’m not honest, my phone can become just as addicting.  A good leader must learn to control the video stimuli (addiction).  Recently I removed from my phone and ipad all games and movie availability.  It was hard but I found myself paying better attention to those around me and my mind was racing far less.  Don’t allow those boxes to take your best attention away from you.

I hope these reminders are just as encouraging to you as they were to me.  Never forget how important free time is and how we us it is the most important part.