No matter what your age you can begin to take steps toward being a great leader. The first of those steps is the most important.
If you want to be a great leader and not just a good leader you need to take the first step. That is, you need to focus on your strengths.
Popular opinion says to improve your weaknesses so that you can be a well-rounded leader. The person who can do everything. We are trained to focus on our weaknesses from the time we step in school. If we get a bad grade in a subject, that is the subject we put the most effort into in order to improve that grade. This way of thinking continues as we get older and move past school.
If you are a great organizer, you probably have a tendency to focus on your weakness of adaptability. But here’s the thing: if you focus on your weakness you are robbing everyone of your gift of organization.
I am willing to go out on a limb and say that you are most valuable to your congregation when you maximize your strengths. After all, you were probably hired based on your strengths and not your weaknesses.
How Do I Do This?
The first thing you must do is figure out what your strengths actually are. I recommend taking Gallup’s Strengthsfinder Assessment. This will prove to be invaluable to you as it will give you your top 5 strengths. While it does cost $9.99 it is definitely worth it.
Here are my top 5 strengths:
If I’m going to focus on my strengths I must know what those strengths are. Gallup gives you a great description on what your strengths are and it is easy to apply those strengths to ministry.
The second thing you must do is eliminate your weaknesses. How do you do this? You build a team around you that compliments you. In other words, if you are great at getting things started but you never follow through, you will want to have someone on your team whose strength is follow through. You can build a rock solid team that compliments you by adding staff (if that is possible) and/or by recruiting high capacity lay leaders.
The third thing you must do is get out of the way of your team and enjoy the ride. If you are serious about being a GREAT leader, you must focus on your strengths and let your team lead. You’ll be tempted to get in the way of your team because you are ultimately responsible for what goes on, but you need to fight that temptation. Focus on your strength and let your team focus on their strength.
By focusing on your strengths, you will become a GREAT leader who enjoys his/her work. You won’t have to dread your job anymore. You’ll inspire those who are around you just like GREAT leaders do. By focusing on your strengths, your God given strengths, you will be fulfilled, energized, and excited about your work every day.