Leading Leaders What?


I asked some good leading leaders 2 questions...their responses are interesting, insightful and inspirational.

"I understand the question to be in two parts ...


1) What do I think I need to know to lead others?

2) What do I think those I'm leading wish I knew?

I'm primarily leading volunteers, not full-time employees (although I do have a couple of those too), so this will be geared mainly at that scenario.

For (1), I think I need to know what motivates volunteers to get things done. It's a different thing than what motivates people to get things done at their work.

I think I need to know what the Holy Spirit is doing in their life. God is growing and pruning each of us. As their mentor/pastor, I need to help them identify where God is working in their life and help them go through that process with God to actually grow.

I think I need to know how to and have the guts to confront people effectively and with gentleness and love. Many people can confront out of anger or frustration, but as a leader, my confrontations need to be with the purpose of teaching (i.e. teachable moment) and restoration.

For (2), I think those I'm leading wish I knew how to differentiate between the role and expectations of a vocational minister vs. a "civilian" who carries the message of Christ. By this I mean, we are full-time leaders (pastors) and most of the NT is written either by or about full-time leaders (pastors/missionaries). This creates a certain set of expectations that are only applicable to full-time leaders, but get taught (mistakenly, I believe) as expectations for every believer ... which set most people up for failure, guilt, and disillusionment.

As a corollary to the last issue, I think they wish I knew how to help them be more effective at impacting their world for the kingdom of God within the context of the work-a-day lives.

I think they wish I knew how to do "counseling first aid." By that I mean, there are a lot of "standard" emotional and psychological issues out there (body image, eating disorders, promiscuity, lust). I don't think I need to be qualified to take someone through to complete victory in all these areas, but I should have a good understanding of each of these issues, what tend to be their root causes, and help get this person through the crisis and on to a professional for long-term help.

I think they wish I knew how to identify "wolves in sheep's clothing" within the body (opportunists, stalkers, controllers, bullies, etc.) and confront them." JN

"I think they wish I knew...

How they are feeling. (I would like them to know that it would help if they would talk to me sometime about how they are feeling.)

What it is like to always have to submit to someone else. (I would like them to realise that we are all called to submit to one another-I try to submit to all those I serve.)

The importance of showing my appreciation to those serving with me. (I would like for them to know that my natural 'love language' may be different from theirs and that my expressions may have been lost in translation.)

That they are just as 'gifted' as me-and probably more so than me in some areas. (I would like them to know that I probably agree, but leadership is not all about 'giftedness'.)

(Some) would like me to know that I'm not all that great a leader. (Again, I would probably agree with them. I would like them to know that I often have sleepless nights with cares that are directly related to leadership responsibilities-something
that I would gladly trade with them, but I'm afraid that it comes with the territory.)

They would like me to know that they are doing the best that they can to serve God and people. (I would like them to know that I really do appreciate them and the works of service they do and that I love them very much.)" TR

"Leaders need to know:

- it's not about them
- it's about earning respect by integrity and faithfulness
- it's about serving those who are led
- it's about presenting clear / attainable goals
- it's about seeking wise counsel
- it's about patience with followers
- it's about patience and perseverance in failure
- it's about seeking God". SC

"A leader leading leaders needs to know the heart of God as revealed in Scripture and through the leading of the Holy Spirit.
He needs to be sensitive to the direction that God wants to go, as opposed to what the general consensus of what makes "good" leadership technique.


A leader of leaders needs to seek to understand the next step for those he is leading and encourage them in that direction." CW

"Make your vision clear, listen, communicate well, and never, never give up!
Give people clear steps/instrutions in order to make things happen. Give feedback, be positive and encouraging, constructive criticism where necessary. Treat people as valuable individuals." JM


"One of the things I harper on especially is the need to have the right kind of tools to do the job right.
I watch carpenters and builders, and observe which tools they use and how they use them. It really is fascinating to see how easily things can be done, if you have the right tools and know how to use them. Unfortunately, many pastors think that their job is just a gift, and do not know how to sharpen their gifts into skills.

First of all, do they know what tools they have at their disposal, and then do they know how to use them effectively.
I guess I try to help folks focus on two things: First the importance of a mentor or coach. (Best to get young people to actually spend time living with you and sharing life) Character is more caught than taught. In doing life together, you train all the time with very practical skills, not just knowledge.
That is a quick answer to a mighty question!" BT

"Some wish I knew how to help them become employed even though they have limited abilities.

Some wish I knew how to help them be free of an addiction without shame.

Some wish I knew how hard they struggle to stay afloat emotionally and financially.

Some wish I would remember their name.

Some wish I knew how to stop the oppressive thoughts.

I need to know the presences of the Lord more and more.
His guidance, healing, comfort and truth. So much of the
things that come to me have to be sorted out by the Spirit.

I need to know how encourage my leaders to seek more of the Holy Spirit as He leads them.
The worries of life come at you like a mob scene. Things coming
at you from every direction. The Holy Spirit and His word
need to be the turn style or the filter that help us sort out and control the worries and decisions of life. " RR

"I would say the #1 thing would be communication-
people can't read your mind but they can read your actions or lack thereof. They need to hear from you on a continual basis. The leader jeopardizes his relationship, team harmony and security, achievement of goals, long term commitment, if he doesn't communicate on a regular basis. Having a multiple staff means more multiple meetings- don't hire if you are not willing to invest time and energy into their lives. Don't hide behind your desk but get out where they are and talk, talk, talk. Also have regular sit down time with them eyeball to eyeball, knee to knee." DK


"I think leaders need to know....They're never as good or as bad as they think they are. Most preachers, in particular, think they hit it out of the park or are ready to slit their wrists on Monday morning. In reality, people are rarely as impressed or depressed by our efforts as we think they are." RB

"four things I've been thinking about since I saw this last night.

First is being able to see peripheral. You know this, cause we've talked about it.. but noticing the things not normally noticed is key.

second, being able to communicate the outcome. Making sure that people aren't feeling like they're being "blindly led". Many young and old followers need assurance of the end is in mind.

third, encouragement... being an on the field cheerleader/ game player is part of being a leading leader.

fourth, releasing the lead. Knowing when to let others have a chance to shine.: CR
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