I have a ton of young leaders all around me at Freedom Church. I love it! As I watch them grow in Ministry leadership I am reminded of when I was a young 20 something coming on staff at Seacoast Church and Pastor Greg took me under his wing. I was such a knucklehead, and yet he allowed me to grow, screw up and learn under him. As I reflect back I think there are three areas that have the potential to separate you from the pack – or hold you back as a young leader and I almost failed as a leader because of all of these…if you see some of these in your young leaders help them but cut them some grace too, we have all been there.
- Leadership is about followers not the leader.
Immature leaders tend to try and make a place for themselves in the world. They are on a constant hunt to prove they are worthy, take in a lot of praise and look for the next promotion or title. Mature leaders realize that leaders only exist if there are followers. Immature leaders love the spotlight and rarely give it away.
Mature leaders seek to dodge the spotlight and truth is they know that titles and promotions only bring so much joy, but the joy of seeing someone they lead grow brings it’s full measure. Mature leaders don’t use the “just follow me” mentality they are worthy of being followed and they constantly give away their desires to help people accomplish their goals. Do this and people will follow you in droves.
- Leaders always assume the best about the people around them.
Immature leaders assume someone with an idea is jockeying for power, wants their job or just want to be followed themselves. Every push back, suggestion or request is seen as a confrontation by the leader and they assume every confrontation is a lack of authority and honor. This causes them to assign motives to followers like, “they just don’t want to follow” or “their heart is in the wrong place”. Mature leaders assume their followers are great people with great ideas who maybe just don’t know how to present them well yet and they help them to take a good idea presented poorly and turn that into a great idea presented with excellence. In the end if the followers win the leader wins.
- Leaders don’t think they are the best at everything.
Immature leaders won’t delegate because they think they have to do everything to prove themselves (see #1). They truly believe they are better at everything (and sometimes singularly they are) but when they try and do everything they are mediocre at all things. They often blame this on not having people who meet their expectations when in fact people would love to help and with a team could do much better. Mature leaders see the value in other people doing most things so the leader can do the one thing they do well.