Okay, so Ben mentioned his "10 Things on Leadership" and asked us to share ours. I don't have a "10 List" but here are a few lessons learned.
- Always Show Respect Nobody likes to be put down, talked down to, ignored, or yelled at. I've seen leaders try to make people follow them by using these tactics. Believe me, nobody follows you when these tactics are used...they simply obey until the project is done and then find a real leader to follow.
- Welcome Criticism There is no better way to know what areas you can develop as a leader unless somebody tells you. Welcome comments and critiques from those below, around, and above you with an open heart and without defensiveness. Try as hard as possible not to take it personally but instead as a challenge. And always thank them.
- Expect Others Opinions I love allowing everyone on my team to share their thoughts and opinions regarding any issue. As a director I reserve a time for open talk, I'll ask the entire team (lights, audio, media, actors, janitors, any living body) to share what they think is or isn't working. Mind you I have a small team, with larger troupes you may need to reserve the open forum for crew leads. But regardless of who it is I welcome their thoughts and truly consider them. Even though they may submit a crazy idea, I found quite often that it really is a good suggestion. This is not a sign of "weak" leadership; on the contrary it shows strength and confidence.
- Surround Yourself With Spiders Perry Noble wrote a blog regarding this topic titled "I REALLY HATE SPIDERS!!!" It's a great blog about how you should surround yourself with people whose strengths are your weaknesses. Check it out!
- Aspire to be Replaced Many people lead in fear of not being able to lead anymore. They micro-manage their teams, they baby step them through every project never allowing any personal growth, decision-making opportunities, or leadership development. I say – LET GO! Give room for mistakes, mentoring and growth – this is how leaders are developed. Once a team member has proven themselves step aside and let loose of the reigns. You’ll probably find they do a better job than you ever did. Besides, you won’t know what God has in store for you next until you move on. Believe me, people, it’s a good thing. Really.
- Don’t Re-invent the wheel Read, read, read. Learn from others and their experiences so you don’t have to make the same mistakes they have. As Ed Young puts it, “You’ve got eyes…plagiarize!” And I can’t agree more. So many Christians waste time trying to make a project completely unique or totally “inspired” only to kill precious time that could’ve been spent investing in people’s lives. If there is a ministry, project, drama, whatever that is already working for another church, ministry or person – ask to use it. Besides being flattered they’ll be happy to know there are others with the same mission of reaching people and changing lives.
- Attitude is Everything From personal experience I can attest that this works. My husband and I have been making this a priority in our home. No matter what swings your way if you have a great attitude you will definately handle it well. Nancy Beach wrote a book titled, "An Hour On Sunday" and she says, "Every person contributing to the hour on Sunday - no matter what their role - affects the rest of the team by their attitude. Just a look of disgust or disdain can quench someone's spirit. But when one of us shows up with a joyful spirit, feeling it's a privilege to serve and seeking out others we can encourage, we profoundly influence team culture."