Staring across the desk, I finally said, “I understand.”
I had just agreed to be “babysat” at the age of twenty-two.
My good friend, our church’s youth pastor, told me that in my first few months, all my work needed to be approved by him. It was my first job in ministry and I was an unproven leader and pastor. Looking back, I truly see the rationale. At the time, my ego and youthful enthusiasm took the hit.
Six weeks later, I had enough. Maybe it was ego…or self-confidence that led me to go back to the leadership and say, “Let me fly. If my work is not up to your expectations, you will have a reason to let me go. If it is exceeds your expectations (and it will exceed your expectations…), you will have an employee you can trust. They graciously lifted the burden of turning in all my work. I was still under my friend but he became an umbrella that covered me, not a “hawk” looking over my shoulder.
The tension of young or even new employees has been around forever. They have this passion and energy to get into the game and show you what they can do. That is why you hired them. Being a leader for a long time now, I get to be that umbrella for those I lead. It is a joy and a burden a leader must carry.
Over the years, I have developed a strong passion of developing the next generation of leaders. My goal is to empower as many as I can to carry on the work of the church and the Lord. To do this, I am focused on giving away six things to the upcoming leaders.
- Power. The ability to direct or influence others. This is crucial to their development. How are they going to get experience unless they are given the ability to actually lead? You as their leader are going to validate them and give them the green light to direct and influence others.
- Authority. You mean they actually are going to get to move people and assets? They can give orders? Yes…and it goes a long way when others see you obeying their direction. If they are the leader you think they are, you will see their leadership line up with your vision.
- Responsibility. This is actually fun. If they want power and authority, then they also get the “joy” of responsibility. Accountability starts at the top and it is a great lesson for them to grow in while in a safe environment under your tutelage.
- Recognition. I am a big believer in giving those I lead all the credit when something good happens. I look for ways to celebrate their wins. I have seen others take someone else’s spotlight – not cool.
- Judgement. A young leader needs to express their opinion. They need to be heard, validated and then given feedback. Everyone wants to put his or her “flavor” on the ministry. Let ‘em run!
- Decisions. Last week, I wrote that the leader determines the end result. You will find young leaders will find different paths than your own. But, they still will hit the goal. You will have to ask yourself – “Is it better, worse or just different.” The letting go of decisions are tough but you many be surprised at the fresh ideas.
Next week, I am going to tell you about the two Goliaths that stand in the way of you giving away your leadership.