When I first started pastoring almost 60 years ago, nothing was talked about regarding leadership. No books or conferences were available that emphasized leadership.
Today there is an abundance of leadership material and training. Unfortunately, not everyone in positions of leadership understands how critical leadership is or takes advantage of opportunities to learn more about leadership. Gaining an understanding of what leadership really is has been a major factor in setting me free to better reach my potential. I have developed a strong conviction that, as far as pastoral leaderships is concerned, any situation can be turned around and go forward, given time, with the right kind of leadership.
That begs the question, what is the right kind of leadership. In my early days I was an externalist. It was, for the most part, always someone else’s fault or circumstances if things were not going forward effectively. That generated excuse making, energy leaks, bad attitudes and sometimes helplessness. That outlook paralyses creativity.
Quite early in my ministry there was a dramatic change in my outlook. I was totally liberated. Stress and frustration evaporated. Energy and creativity was revitalized. Answers were found, motivation was over the top. Anticipation, expectation and hope was renewed. I became extremely disciplined in living consistently by my own definition of leadership that brought exhilarating rewards and satisfaction.
Here it is: As the leader I am responsible for finding the solutions to the problems that exist, whether I have inherited them, they have happened independently of me, or I have caused them – by whatever it takes.
The “whatever it takes” phrase gives unlimited and comprehensive room for creativity. There is no end to the possibilities. This definition prohibited me from blaming and forced me to always take full responsibility to find answers. It generates a belief that there is an answer somewhere, someway and some day if I persevere.
When we blame, we abdicate. We put ourselves out of business. We tie our hands and nothing positive happens. However, when we take responsibility we are motivated to do something about the person or situation that is the problem.
This is so important; we must feed this outlook by reading everything we can about leadership and
hearing everything we can by attending conferences etc. We can learn to lead!