3 Reasons Why Leaders Must Delegate

Do not try to go it alone - A leader must rely on others to lead succesfully so try delagating

Do not try to go it alone - A leader must rely on others to lead succesfully so try delagating

Photo by Hamed Saber

Empowering delegated leadership is as important to leading as baseball mitts are to baseball. You can still play without it, but very soon you will notice significant decreases in your effectiveness.

When a leader delegates, he or she is allowing others to take responsibility and experience what it is like to lead. A leader can use delegation for a number of reasons; to relieve themselves of a certain task or role so they can focus on larger ones, to let someone else gain some experience, or even just to work more in line with the way God has created them and allow someone else to use their God given gifts.

There really are three key reasons why a leader should delegate in a way that empowers others. The three reasons are:

1.  No one person can do everything.  The more you are able to delegate the closer the organization is to reaching its goals.

2.  To help the leader stay focused on what is really important

3.  To raise up and build up new leaders.

As a leader, it is very important to share your vision and plans, and one key way to do that while leading others is to delegate. When you delegate your leadership, the people who you delegate to will have their own ways of doing things, often times better if they are gifted in that area but they will probably catch a lot of your values. The old saying goes, “The Speed of the leader is the speed of the team.”  So if you have a vision that you want shared with others, simple give certain people specific tasks or roles and the ability to help accomplish your organizations goals.

Can you think of a time when someone you looked up to gave you a task to help complete a bigger project, and because of that you became much more interested in the whole project? Well, now it’s time for you to use that same idea. I can think of a time when my dad was to be involved with a big Franklin Graham revival. As a kid I wasn’t all that interested in it, but he asked me to help by being in charge of parking cars. Because he delegated that responsibility to me, I got involved and interested in the success of the entire event.  Bringing others into the loop of what you are doing and asking them to get on board is a great way to increase ownership.

To help you stay focused on essential activities, it is sometimes useful and even necessary to delegate certain tasks and jobs to others. In doing this, you make it possible for you to be completely focused on a few vital jobs, while letting others do more menial tasks or things that you should not be focusing on.

A leader must be able to recognize when they are getting overloaded with extra tasks and when they need to start delegating. If you, as a leader, allow yourself to get bogged down with tons of tasks, you effectiveness will drop dramatically.  One of the reasons for the great success of the E-myth was the idea of working on your business or ministry and not just in it.  If you are only doing the work and not focusing on how to increase the work or do the work more effectively or involve more people in the mission you are not likely to grow.

Finally, delegation helps build up new leaders. You will not be around forever, so you need to start building up a few people who could take your place or take on other leadership roles. No one can just jump right into a leadership role, so you must start slowly and delegate certain small tasks first, and then move on to bigger and bigger jobs for the new leader to do. Eventually, you will have a very competent and useful co-leader to help you accomplish more and lead others better. Don’t let your fear of being replaced stop you from building up new leaders.  In fact, if insecurity only plays a negative role in your leadership.  Make sure you deal with that head on and speak the truth to yourself.   Instead, instill every bit of knowledge you have and do everything you can to help a new leader succeed.

Are there some areas of responsibility that you could be delegating to others?  Over and over again I have seen the joy that others have when you delegate and area of responsibility and they are able to be involved with the organization’s goals in significant ways.  Frequently, you should take a step back from your problems, tasks and to do list to gain some perspective and see if there are things you can pass off to others.  Even the earth looks small from a distance.  :-)

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3 Critical Leadership Actions

Follow these 3 critical leadership points to help you start leading iothers better

Follow these 3 critical leadership action points to help you start leading others better

photo by paul+photos=moody

Every leader, no matter what their position, should be doing each of three key actions. They should be setting a good example, delegating responsibility, and taking responsibility.

Setting a good example as a leader can be so powerful and effective.  As you seek to become a better leader you want to make sure that the example that you are setting is one that you want others to emulate. When you set a good example for others to follow, you inspire people, and instill in them whatever key values you are living out. People want to follow someone they look up to and respect, and if you do not set a good example, then you will lose the respect of those you are trying to lead.

When you are trying to start setting a good example, you do not need to do some huge kind of transformational leadership change, you should just start by thinking of a few important ideals or values you want to start following. Then, work on a few more once you begin to live out the first of your values.  Eventually, you will be setting a fine example for others to follow. But remember, none of us here on earth is perfect, so you might struggle at times, but God can help you so rely on Him.

Delegating responsibility is the next key action you should take. You have to realize that you can’t do everything. If you try to, you will soon become burned out and depressed. So work on sharing certain tasks and leadership positions with others. In doing this you will help yourself, and also help build up other people’s leadership experience.  Think through the areas of your life and responsibility and see if there are areas that you could pass off to someone else who is better gifted to do those thigns.

Finally, the last action you must do is take responsibility. You are the one who must take the heat when something goes amiss, you must be the one who answers when questions arise, you must be the one who takes the blame. It can be easy to want to shirk the blame or pass it off when things do not go well, especially when you weren’t directly the one who messed up. But, as a leader you are the one in charge and need to be willing to accept responsibility when things go wrong and pass out the praise when things go well.  Those above you will probably recognize you for the success but either way you need to be the person who is encouraging others.

There are lots of other characteristics a leader could or should have, but these are three key actions that you can use today to start leading others better.

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Biblical Guidelines for Leaders

Biblical Leadership Principles that you can use today

Biblical Leadership Principles that you can use today

photo by Extra Medium

I was reading timothy the other day and I noticed some great information Paul had written about church leaders and some of the guidelines for choosing them. So here I want to look over them, because I think they hold a powerful and convicting message for many today.

Let’s begin by looking at 1 Timothy 3:1-7. Here is the passage below:

1Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. 2Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”

Now, there is a lot being said in these verses, so let us go back and look for the key points. Paul begins in verse two by saying that an overseer or church leader must be above reproach. That alone is powerful. Are you, as a leader, living your life so that you are above reproach from those around you?

Paul continues in verse two by listing a few characteristics. Go back and reread them and then think about what your life looks like. I know I need to work on a few of these. Are there any characteristics of leaders listed here that God is impressing on you that need to be changed in your life?

In verse three Paul is basically saying that a church leader should not have any addictions, whether to money, alcohol, or anything in this world. Further along in verse four Paul also says that a leader should manage their family well first, because if they cannot even manage their family, how can they oversee a church? What does your family look like? Are your family affairs in order? When we have family problems, it distracts us and takes our attention away from other activities such as overseeing a church. So Paul is trying to say that to avoid a split attention, make sure your family is in good order before you start taking on leadership roles in a church.  Also as an example to others you should be leading your family well.  If you cannot lead a small group like a family it will be hard to lead a larger group like a church.

About a year ago Buddy preached a sermon on Father’s day where he created a family from the audience.  A father a wife and two kids.  He was referring to the fact that many men are comfortable leading a group of 10 or 20 or more people at work but these same men walk into their homes are intimidated to lead the family spiritually.  Without any preparation he had the father read a small devotional, ask some questions of his family regarding how the passage applied to their lives and pray.  Many people mentioned how it challenged them that leading your family spiritually can be easier than one might think if they have not been in the practice of doing it.

Finally, in verse seven, Paul says that a church overseer must have a good reputation with outsiders. Paul says this because the overseer is basically the figurehead, or at least one of them, for the entire church, so if they have a bad reputation with outsiders, then the outsiders will assume the rest of the church has a bad reputation.

These are some of the key points from verses 1-7 of 1 Timothy 3.  You might want to go and read the whole chapter because there is so much more there that God has for us as leaders.

Who Are You Serving?

Who are you really serving? Are you serving God or are you serving yourself? It’s important to check who you are really serving because as Christians, our lives should always be about serving Christ. This short clip will give a couple tips on how to figure out who you are really serving.

Right Priorities, Make Sure Yours are Aligned with God’s

A Change in your Leadership Priorities is sometimes needed

A Change in your Leadership Priorities is sometimes needed

Photo by hockadilly

Priorities are essential for a leader because he or she must be able to focus on a few key areas that are most important to accomplishing the vision or goal of the organization. When a leader has priorities, they are able to determine what tasks they should be doing, and what tasks they should pass on to others. Priorities also help those serving under the leader to see what the goals for the organization are and how they are getting accomplished.

If you have not set any priorities, you may become distracted and lose focus on your vision. Organizations that lose track of their vision become misguided and unproductive. To avoid this, take the time to set a few priorities.  Priorities will help guide you and help to ensure you are working on the things that important and not just the things that are urgent or bouncing from one idea to the next without ever really accomplishing anything of last value.

When you have your God given vision you can set a few priorities that will help you reach that vision.  Your vision will help guide the decision that you make.  Take your priorities and just focus on two or at the most three.  If you have more than three priorities you do not have priorities because everything will start to compete for focus.  For each of your top priorities list out the tasks that you can do that will help those priorities come to life.

Now that you have a few priorities in your life, it is time to see if they match up with God’s priorities. Yes, God wants your priorities to be aligned with His. If they are not, you will probably struggle and have a tough time succeeding because your desires will be tugging against your conscience and the voice of the Holy Spirit in your life.  .

The good news is that God wants your priorities to be the same as His. And he has outlined His priorities in the Bible. Now that you have your priorities, pray about them and see what God has to say about them. It might be that they are what he wants you to do, or it might be that they are not. Or possible, he might want you to wait for a little while.

If you feel like you are having a difficult time discerning what priorities God wants you to focus on, do not hesitate to seek the council of a pastor, friend, or mentor. Ask their advice, and ask them to pray with you.

Your priorities have a large impact on the direction of your life, so if they are not aligned with God, then you will not be aligned with God either.

So when you are making priorities in your life, remember this important key: make God’s priorities, a priority in your life.

Seven Benefits of Life Coaching

Life is full of twists and turns but a life coach can help you stay on track

Life is full of twists and turns but a life coach can help you stay on track

Photo by MASON(alex555)

In a sports game, where there is a specific amount of time and a clear winner, the coach’s influence is pretty easy to see.  A great coach can take a good team and mold them into champions.  Like wise sometimes you have a team filled with champions that are unable to even make it to the playoffs because they don’t work well as a team.

Benefits from life coaching can be immediate and often last a life time.  Often a coach will offer a valuable suggestion or ask a question in a way that changes your thinking immediately.  A few years ago I was talking to my life coach about my struggle with desiring to work on business and ministry at the same time and how I felt guilty when I would work on business dreams.  He asked me a question that immediately changed my outlook.  “Buddy, who do you think put the desires in you?”  Obviously it was God but immediately it made it alright to have those dreams and desires instead of something that I always had to be fighting.  That has been a lasting change.

Just a few weeks ago I was talking with a life and leadership coach about the possibility of coaching for our entire organization.  I thought it was going to be strictly business but he opened it up as if it was a coaching call so before we got off I asked him, “Do you mind if I ask you a coaching question to help with my leadership.”  He said to go ahead and with a few quick questions I had a game plan to proceed with a meeting that I had schedule that day.

Here are Seven general benefits that you will probably see if you invest in a life coach.

Seven benefits from life coaching:

1. Life Coaching helps you to figure out your real priorities in your life.

2. Life Coaching helps to shorten the time frame to achieving your goals.

3.     Life Coaching helps to give you an outside viewpoint to allow you to see how God has worked in your life and some of the possibilities for the future.

4. Life Coaching facilitates organization and structure in your life, and encourages you to do above and beyond what you would normally do by yourself.

6. Life Coaching provides you with self-assurance, support, certainty, confidence, encouragement, motivation and inspiration depending on your needs and the situation.

7. Life Coaching helps you to walk in the good works that God has prepared in advance for you so that you don’t go through life aimlessly.

Life Coaching is an investment in yourself that will benefit you for the rest of your life. It can have such positive lasting effects that many see it as a necessary activity for any individual who desires to make their life count.

The key difference that a good life coach should make in your life is to help you reach your goals faster and easier than you can on your own.  A good coach will help you with questions, encouragement and short cuts that you might not have known on your own.  A good life coach can be the difference between living an OK life and living the life of a champion.

Leaders Must Make Bold Moves to Succeed

Sometimes we most make a bold move and take a leap of faith

Sometimes we most make a bold move and take a leap of faith

Photo by aftab.

When was the last time you took a risk? When was the last time you made a bold move and jumped out into the unknown? Many people today spend their lives avoiding the unknown, avoiding risks. But when you take a big risk, you often reap a big reward. Many great inventions came about because of people who stepped out into the unknown. Many businesses have suddenly boomed because of a leader who took a risk.

At times, God will call you to take a leap of faith. He called Abraham to leave his home, his country, the land of his ancestors, and travel to a new land, a land that God would provide. And what did Abraham do? Did he say, “No God, it’s too risky”? No, he simply followed what God said, and went into the unknown.

It is easy to become safety minded, to avoid risky situations or opportunities because its ‘smart’ to not take chances. This is somewhat true, but there are times when each of us must jump out and see what’s in the unknown, see what God has for us.

What kinds of opportunities have you passed up because they seemed too risky? Think of the great benefits that could have transpired as a result of some of those situations. What opportunities do you have in the future that you could take advantage of, although they may be risky?

When you, as a leader, start taking risks and making bold moves, other people in your organization will notice and then follow your example. Imagine if an entire organization were making bold moves, their accomplishments would be incredible.

It is vastly important that you be willing to take a bold step at times in your life. If you hold back, you will miss many wonderful things. Think about this; You can’t cross a big mountain without taking big steps.

What can you do to take advantage of an opportunity that before seemed a little too risky? Trust God, and make a bold move.

5 Questions That Help You Succeed

by striatic

photo by striatic

Success is defined as “the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted” in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, and there are 5 key questions that you must ask yourself if you want to succeed. These questions will help you start thinking of what needs to happen for success to be part of your life.

1. What is God’s will? To truly be successful in life, you must follow God’s will. The desire to accomplish things should come from him. Think about what God has in store for you in life. No one can become successful in life without following the will of God. Do you already know what God wants you to do but you’re hesitant to do so? Are you trying to figure out what God desires of you, but cannot figure it out? If you do not know what God wants you to do, there are plenty of resources for you. There are life coaches that can help guide you. There are books out there for you to read. You can spend time with the Lord, listen to his voice, and try to find out what God has in store for you.  Sometimes we know what God’s will is for us but we run from it like Jonah running from Nineveh.   If you know what God wants for you run in that direction until he shows you something different.  If you are not sure what God’s will is continue to seek him.  Some of the questions below will help you as you seek to find God’s will for you life.

2. What do I love to do? What do you enjoy? What makes you feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment after you do it? Always remember what you are drawn to. Remember what you love to do, because you will only burn yourself out if you are stuck doing things that you do not enjoy, even if you are outstanding at it. So identify what you love to do. You may not be able to do exactly what you wish to do, but try to find a way to incorporate what you love into what you already do. For instance, if you love to play basketball but cannot find a job as a professional basketball player, you can train to be a manager or a physical trainer.

3. What am I good at? Usually, what you are good at goes hand in hand with what you love to do. If not, you can always find what you are good at and fit that into what you love to do. It is important to identify what you are good at, because if you do a mediocre job at something, you will not succeed. You have to capitalize on your gifts and talents. It is what makes you stand out from the rest.

4. What more can I do to become better in what I do? There is always room for improvement. Never stop growing. Never stop learning. Never stop improving. This is a huge key for becoming successful and staying successful. Keep the motivation up and running. Figure what you can do to become better, and apply that to your life.

5. What roadblock is keeping me from reaching my highest potential? Are there any barriers? Anything hindering you from reaching your highest potential? First, identify the things that are keeping you from being the best that you can be. Next, figure out how you can eliminate this road block. Better yet, if you can figure out how to make this roadblock enhance your highest potential, it would be even better! If you cannot completely eliminate or use the roadblock to your advantage, find a way to suppress the effects that it has on you.

Remember to ask yourself these five questions if you want to become successful. Once you know what God’s will is, what you love to do, what you are good at that can be implemented into what you love to do, what you can do to improve, what is keeping you from being your best, you are 5 steps closer to being successful. Being successful is not easy, and it’s not just a destiny but a journey.  As you keep these questions in mind, you will see yourself transforming into a successful person and it will be the kind of success first of all that brings honor and glory to the Lord and then brings you joy and fulfillment as well.

What You Should Know About Living in Your Strengths

Living in your strengths is probably the best way to avoid burnout and not living in your strengths is probably the best way to get burned out. Thus, it is very important to understand what it is that God has created you for – because he has created you for a special purpose.

Living in Your Strengths Can Help you Become a Strong Wave

Living in Your Strengths Can Help you Become a Strong Wave

Photo by PatrickSmithPhotography

We each have certain things we are good at. I am sure you can name a few things that you enjoy doing and are really good at. Maybe you know a lot about a computer, or its easy for you to work on cars, or maybe you are good at sports, no matter what it is, we each have specific strengths. God created us with certain talents and abilities for us to use to glorify Him. If you aren’t living your strengths, It’s time to hit the brakes and pay close attention to the rest of this because this could just save you a lot of time, stress, and wasted energy.

Not using your strengths is simply ridiculous. Check out this example to help you understand, if you don’t already. If you had the option to play baseball or football and you were extremely good at say, baseball but you knew next to nothing about football. Would you really try to go play football? No, of course not! You would go play baseball because that is what you are good at, that is your strong sport. Its the same way with your strengths. If you have certain strengths, you should embrace and use them. Don’t try to ignore them and work on a weakness.

But, you might say, How can I live my strengths if I don’t really know them? That’s actually very easy, there are many tests that will show what kinds of strengths you have. These tests are rather accurate and many are free online. Simply take a minute and search for strengths tests and then find a good one to take. It is such a valuable resource to know what your strengths are, and, it’s quite interesting and even surprising. Be sure to come back and retake these tests every so often to see how you are changing, because there might be small changes over time based on your job or primary activities.

Once you know what your strengths are, take some time to think about how you are using them, maybe even without knowing it, and how you can start using them more.

If you are having a tough time thinking about where you have already been using your strengths, think about activities that you simply love and you often lose track of time while doing. When you use your strengths you will enjoy using them. You will experience success and contentment from using your strengths.

Living in your strengths has incredible benefits with reducing stress caused by trying, and failing at being successful while using a weakness. Plus, it will reduce the chance or getting burned out. And, it will even help you be energetic and excited about life.

God made us with a purpose, and the ability to complete the things he has for us in life. He gave you strengths to use, now start using them.

Live life to the fullest, live in your strengths!

If you want more information about living in your strengths or you have any questions, LeaderCast.com has the answers, or at least will help you get them.

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Healing from Burnout

Healing and Redemption
Healing and Redemption

Photo by Ian Britton

So, you are burned out, and now you want to know what to do about it right? Well, if you have read my articles, Signs of Burnout, and Ramifications of Burnout, You know exactly where you are and what’s going on, if you haven’t read those, I suggest you check them out.

Now that you know what the signs of burnout are, and what the results or ramifications can be if you don’t get help, you are probably asking, how do I recover? How do I heal from being burned out? Well, not to say that its easy, but there are several easy steps to recovering from burnout. One of the main parts is simply recognizing that you are burned out. It’s amazing that many people simply don’t realize that the reason for their depression and disinterest in life is because of being burned out. So now that you know that you are burned out, you are already on your way to recovery! Isn’t that good news? Now, let’s start getting deeper.

To start healing, follow the 13 steps listed below. Take time to think about how you will do each one. Ask God to help you as you heal. It is important to remember that He will be the one to heal you, but following these 13 steps will be a great guide along the way.

(if you feel like 13 steps is just to overwhelming at this time, you can skip down and look out the 4 essential keys to remember.)

The 13 comprehensive steps to healing from stress and burnout:

  1. Spend time alone with God each morning, or any specific time you can consistently set aside for alone time. During this time read the Bible and write in a journal, pray for the day’s activities and tell God what’s on your mind. This is one if not the most important step you can take to both recover from and prevent burnout and stress. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to daily spend time with God.
  2. Balance and invigorate your life by exercising regularly. Good physical conditioning strengthens the body’s immune system and increases endorphins that are the brain’s natural tranquilizers. Plus you get, and stay, in great shape.
  3. Get enough rest. Allow adequate time for sleep. Contrary to what was taught in a previous generation, most people need more sleep than they get. Adrenal arousal reduces one’s need for sleep. But this is a trap, and people ultimately pay the penalty for it. Aim for somewhere around 7 hours a night; just make sure it’s enough that you feel rested for the next day.
  4. Learn to be flexible. Only the gospel is unchanging. One’s ideas and priorities may need to change. Flexibility reduces the likelihood of frustration. When things come up, try to work with them instead of letting them ruin your day.
  5. Slow down and enjoy life. Remember, God is never in a hurry. Hurriedness is a human characteristic caused by inadequate planning and poor time management. Hurry speeds up the wear and tear of one’s body and mind and increases the production of destructive adrenaline.
  6. Learn constructive ways of dealing with anger. The gospel is a gospel of forgiveness. Dispense forgiveness liberally to those who hurt you. Remember, anger is a signal that something is wrong with one’s environment, or it is evidence that one is in a fight-or-flight mode. Identify the source and confront it assertively.
  7. Pay attention to little hassles; they are more likely to kill you than the big ones. The everyday, minor irritations are the deadliest. Keep them to a minimum.
  8. Develop the ability to be empathetic as you care for others and keep sympathy under control. Understand your own neurotic needs and do not allow them to affect the way you pastor.
  9. Focus your ministry on essentials. Reduce redundancies, eliminate unnecessary activities, avoid demands that will stretch you too thin, and learn how to say no kindly, without giving offense and without experiencing a sense of guilt.
  10. Stay in touch with reality. One’s ambitions must not outrun the limits of his capabilities. Seek honest feedback from trusted friends on your talents, then, pray for wisdom and set your sights accordingly. Aiming too high at unrealistic goals to satisfy an unsanctified ambition will only lead to burnout.
  11. Avoid states of helplessness by taking control and implementing a coping strategy no matter how minor. Helplessness is often an erroneous belief that a person is trapped and no solutions are possible. Exercise faith, believe that solutions are possible, and break out of the helplessness cycle.
  12. If you cannot resolve a major conflict in your life, leave it and move on if necessary. Notions of being superhuman often keep people in severe conflict situations. People believe they should be able to master every circumstance, and this can lead to a destructive persistence. Even Jesus was hindered in what He could do (Matthew 13:58) and had to move on. Why not you?
  13. Finally, be willing to seek help and support from friends or family, or even an online source, such as LeaderCast.com. You don’t need to go through this alone, get some support     and prayer from others.

These are the steps, now go back and if you haven’t already, think of ways to apply each of the steps in your own life. How are you going to change in order to recover from burnout?

In order to help you remember the basic keys to recovery, here are the four keys to remember to help you recover and heal from burnout.

One, Slow down your life. Take a break from things, go on a vacation, say no to requests from people and try to do the tasks you already have better. If you are really swamped with the things you are doing, try passing some on to others.  Ask a friend if they will take over certain areas or tasks for a little while.

Two, Get support. Share your feelings and thoughts with a close friend or family member. Make it known that you are taking a short break from things to rest and evaluate life.

Three, Reevaluate your goals, dreams, activities, and job. Spend time thinking about where you are in life and what your goals for life are. It might be time to forget some dreams and even come up with new ones.

And Four, Seek God and ask for his support, guidance and healing. You are burned out probably because you were doing too much. Now it’s time to stop, and ask God for direction and assistance with life. We are not meant to live life on our own. God wants to be a part of it and help and support us along the way.

Now, it is time for action! Start following these steps today, don’t brush it off or claim to be to busy. Go make a plan, create a schedule and then stick to it. The main thing you need to do now is act.

Come back soon to learn how to prevent burnout and live in your strengths.