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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Leadership and Humility

Humility and Leadership rarely are associated together but a leader must learn to be humble

Humility and Leadership rarely are associated together but a leader must learn to be humble

photo by BUR?BLUE

When you do a word association with humility, leadership probably does not pop into your head. A leader should be great, glorious, and confident right? If their confidence leads them to be prideful well then so be it.  It’s probably OK for someone to be a little prideful if they have earned the right to be prideful.   Well not according to Jesus and many others in recent history who have studied truly great leaders.

Take a look at the example Jesus left for us at the last supper. On the night before he was crucified, Jesus did something extraordinary; He got up, got a towel and water, and began to wash the feet of each of His followers. In that time only a servant, and the humblest of servants at that, washed people’s feet. Yet Jesus did this to show us what a leader should really look like. He showed us that a leader needs to be thinking and serving those who follow them. They need to put their follower’s needs ahead of their own. A leader has incredible responsibility, and one of them is to make sure that the needs of those entrusted to him or her are taken care of.

When a leader is humble and takes time to look after the needs of those following them, then the followers will be more willing and able to follow and do whatever needs to be done to accomplish the goal at hand.

Especially today, humility is not a popular trait.  Somehow William Bennet left it out of his best seller The Book of Virtues.  Maybe there were not enough stories of a humble protagonist, or maybe humility does not sell.  :-)   If a leader does not continue to pursue humility it is likely they will soon become prideful and fall into traps caused by the sin of pride.  A humble leader accepts the council of others and grows from it.

I once heard the phrase that humility is not thinking less of yourself it is not thinking of yourself at all.  President’s Lincoln and Reagan both modeled this characteristic of humility well.  Nancy Reagan said of President Reagan that he had no ego.  He was not concerned about himself.  Though many great leaders are attributed with the quote “You can get a lot done if you don’t care who gets the credit.”  It was certainly an opinion that Reagan voiced often and probably helped to keep him humble as he made his way up the ladder of success.

If you want to pursue humility it helps to keep your focus on Christ who was humble despite being God.  It helps to give away all the credit you can.  It also helps to receive encouragement and praise with a simple “Thank You.” or “Praise God.”  A false humility that says, “Oh it was nothing.”  Simply causes the giver of the praise to have to offer more or justify their original statement, whereas a thank you or focus on God causes the attention to go back to that person or to God.

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.

Effective Leaders Must First Learn to Follow Well

There are times to lead, but there are also times to Follow. Know when you need to follow someone else.

There are times to lead, but there are also times to Follow. Know when you need to follow someone else.

photo by mctheriot

To become a great leader you must first learn to follow well.  Even if the person that God has placed in leadership above you is a poor leader, you must honor them.  In every situation you go through it can be used to soften your heart and draw you closer to God or it can be used to harden your heart.  Each situation is a new test and many times it’s harder than the one before.

When you are led by someone else, and take the time to learn from them, you become a much wiser person and leader. All too many leaders today think that they have arrived and do not need to continue learning, but as I talked about in my video series in January, one of the greatest leadership assassins is plateauing.  (You can check out that series here:

http://leadernexus.com/2009/01/


To avoid this, make it a point to always learn, to always take advice, and to always be open to suggestions. As you grow in your leadership people are less likely to offer negative feedback to your unsolicated.  You need to be asking for it if you want to grow.  one of the things that set Ganges Khan apart as a leader was that he was one of the first to demand positive and negative updates from those under his command.  Though it seems to go without question that you can be a better leader with honest feedback in a field of battle we often do not ask for it in our organizations.

Also be sure to make observations of others as they lead.  What works well?  What encourages people to do their best?  What causes people to see the image of God within them?

We have all been in situations where we have had to serve under bad leaders.  While those times are difficult to be sure, God often uses those times to strengthen our character.  Think of David with Saul.  Hopefully your boss or leader that you have to follow hasn’t tried to murder you or sent an army after you to take your life.  Through that situation David grew in character as he learned more deeply to trust the Lord with his life.


David wasn’t a perfect leader to be sure.  In fact, he did not even finish strong.  Most leaders do not.  How can you follow today to help you lead well and finish strong tomorrow.

A Leader Must Have Vision

Leaders need to have vision to avoid being in a fog

Leaders need to have vision to avoid being in a fog

Photo by Philipp Klinger (No sun anymore on Cape Cod)

A leader’s primary objective is often simply to lead and direct people. But it is vital to recognize other aspects a leader must also focus on. One such important area is having a vision. Having a vision means planning ahead, it means having a goal or idea for the future. It means that there is an overriding objective that the leader is trying to attain.

Every leader, no matter what occupation they have or role they play should be working towards their objective. Having a vision gives reason for their leadership.

A vision can look like a variety of things. It can be a soccer coach’s goal of reaching the final with his team, or the CEO’s goal of making 100 million dollars.

What long term goals do you have that you should be focusing on? What is your vision for the people you lead?

Leaders need to be constantly setting, and evaluating their vision and goals for the future. They should be planning their long term vision, along with several mid-term type objectives, and a bunch of short-term goals.

Setting a range of goals will help you, and the people you lead, focus and stay on track with what you are trying to do. Be sure that any short-term goals match up with your vision.

Once you have a plan and vision, it is important to communicate it to those who are following you. Be enthusiastic and get them onboard with you. Don’t keep them in the dark about what your plans are and what you want to do, let others know and they will probably be even more willing to follow.

7 Traits of a Poor Leader

Many have written on what it takes to be a leader, on what qualities a leader must have, but what are the qualities of a poor leader? How can you tell when you or someone else is a shoddy leader? There are a number of key qualities and characteristics that define substandard leadership. Here are the 7 main qualities of a poor leader.

The first, and possibly the most debilitating characteristic of a poor leader is a poor relationship with God. A healthy relationship with God is like the first building block in a large building. Without it, the entire building will eventually become unstable and fall in a great heap.

Overtly prideful leaders will begin to overlook things because they begin to believe that they cannot fail, that they are perfect and all others need to change. They become obstinate and won’t accept council or suggestions.

Self-interested leaders only care about themselves. They will push difficult or monotonous tasks on to others and try to avoid anything that they don’t want to do. They are selfish and seek only to please themselves. They might also see everyone else as insignificant.

Obsessively concerned with every detail; Leaders with this quality will waste time on trivial matters and confuse and frustrate people under them by trying to make everything just like how they want it. They micro manage and concern themselves with every little detail. They blow small inconsequential issues out of proportion and don’t understand how to delegate.

Poor communication skills and little feedback is another characteristic. Leaders with this flaw will never let you know if you are doing well, only if you are performing below their standard. When you do perform excellently, these leaders will only tell you that you accomplished what was expected of you. They may confuse people by setting different goals and rules at various times or by being unclear about certain issues. These leaders often will rely on other negative attributes to help them lead and may even focus on other people’s weaknesses to help make them feel better.

A Leader who creates strict rules and regulations and proceeds to expect everyone else to follow them while not abiding by the rules themselves has the next serious flaw. These leaders make big deals out of small infractions and punish people senselessly. They use the numerous rules to substitute for their lack of leadership experience or skills. They set a poor example for the people following them and may even choose favorites who are exempt from the rules.

Anger, deceit, and poor moral character are the final qualities of a bad leader. These leaders will use any method to succeed, even if it means breaking the rules, or hurting others. They will also rely on anger to coerce people into following. Their poor character will show, although they probably will try to cover it up with lies. This may be the worst trait a leader can have.

Leaders who lack leadership skills will often rely on these negative attributes to help them lead people. They will substitute anger in for patience, micromanagement in for delegation, and so on. These people are not leaders at all; they are simply people telling others what to do and using authority given them to enforce it. Don’t be a bad leader, take what you have learned from here and try to lead well.

Now go, and don’t lead like this.

3 Characteristics of a Real Leader

Leadership: The act of Leading

Leadership: The act of Leading

Photo by lumaxart

Leaders hold the most important roles in our society. They act as an example for others, they tell others what to do, and they define how we should live our lives. With such great responsibility it becomes imperative for a leader to be not just a leader, but a great leader. There are 3 characteristics every leader can have, and must have to be a great leader. They are faith, hope, and love.

A leader who has faith believes in themselves, in others, and most importantly, in God.

They believe in themselves by challenging themselves and taking on difficult, but possible tasks to complete. Leaders with this characteristic won’t shy away from jobs or responsibility. They will do what they need to do and take the blame if they make a mistake.

A leader with faith believes in the workers and people under them. They delegate and give responsibility to others and allow others to offer input. They don’t micromanage others and they don’t create countless rules to follow. They are flexible, yet require results from people under them.

Most importantly, a leader must have faith in God. Faith that God will support them, provide for them, be the source of authority, and supplier of justice. God is the one from whom all authority is given. Keeping this in mind a leader will also stay humble. You could say that God is the ultimate leader, thus, putting for faith in Him and following his commands seems only reasonable and even logical. Wouldn’t you want to put your faith in the ‘best’ leader?

Hope is the second characteristic. Hope for the future, forward thinking, vision, and goal focused are all aspects of hope. A leader should be thinking about what their plan is for tomorrow; what their long-term goals are for both themselves and those following them. Their hope should create passion for what they do and desire to do it well. The hope that a leader has should also be spread to their followers, giving them an idea of what is to come and what the leader’s plans are for the future.

Finally, love is the last and greatest characteristic. A leader must have a love for their work, their family, their followers, and for God.

Naturally a leader who loves to lead will certainly lead better than one who doesn’t. Their love for what they do will be infective in the way it will cause those around them to work a little harder and perform a bit better. A leader’s love for what they do is vital to preventing failure and burnout.

Love for their family will be like a beacon proclaiming their true character for all to see. If a leader neglects or places their family behind other things then people will take note and recognize the leader’s lack of care for those closest to them. Yet when a leader does love their family first then many other aspects of their life will seamlessly fall in place. Those under them will respect their leader and readily follow their commands.

A leader’s love for their followers is directly related to their love for their own family. Often, a leader’s family is their first followers and when a leader is placed in charge of others, their love for their family will also change into a loving and caring attitude towards all who follow them. A leader’s love for their followers will inspire them to achieve and complete things to the best of their ability. When a leader loves his followers he will look out for their interests and, when possible, place them before his own interests. This does not mean that a leader should compromise on goals and objectives, but merely that they should take an interest in the lives of those the lead.

Lastly, a leader must love God with all their heart, soul and mind. There is much that could be said about loving God, but all that will be said here is that God is the giver of all authority, so we must follow God, and follow His commands, and the greatest of his commands is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Mat. 22:37b, NIV).

How can you improve as a leader? How can you start implementing these characteristics in your own life? The time is now, don’t wait until tomorrow, change today, and see the results forever.

The Power of Accountability

Do you have someone keeping you accountable in certain areas of your life? Are there others in your life that you keep accountable?

I am up at 10:48 after the busiest week of my year and a really long day to boot because of the power of accountability. A couple of weeks ago I had to tell a coach of mine that I hadn’t met my goals of putting up content on the site and then letting people know about it.

My goal for this month was a post every other day. I created the posts before I left for spring break that would go up automatically while I was gone. Then I thought I would have some time today to post. As it always seems to do, life didn’t go exactly as planned. I could have headed to bed like my body wanted to do right when I got home but then I would be telling my accountability partner/coach in a week that I almost but didn’t quite meet my goal. I don’t know about your personality type, but for me that’s something that I don’t want to do ever again and especially not in consecutive meetings, so here I am typing as my eyes are starting to close like a heavy garage door once it’s passed the tipping point and gravity takes over causing the door to slam to the cement of the garage floor.

I started off asking if you had someone keeping you accountable for things.

Currently I have my friend/coach/accountability partner who is keeping me accountable for content on this site.

I have Ray who is keeping me accountable to some areas of leadership in leading my team and my ministry here.

I meet with Ron and Mark each week who keep me accountable to memorizing scripture and loving my wife well.

How many of us would do taxes without the accountability of the IRS?

Accountability is often great when we need a little extra push to get something one. Perhaps you have the desire to do something but you lack the self discipline. Bower it from an accountability partner or a coach until it becomes internal or innate in you to do whatever task you currently don’t want to do.

I have a friend that was struggling with porn so he gave me his laptop for a season then installed a filter that sends me an update each week of what he has been doing online and that has kept him from pursuing pleasure outside of the ways that God intended.

My favorite discipleship tools is based on accountability. In fact, we call them Mutual and Accountability and Discipleship groups. MADgroups for short. You can go tot he download page and download the brochure if you are interested in starting one. There is accountability built in to flee from sin and pursue righteousness. There is accountability to be reading the word of God because if you don’t read at all your friend has to read again as well as you. There is also accountability to be praying for your lost friends to come to know Jesus as Lord and savior.

Accountability is strong. You need to have it to help you in those areas where you lack the discipline to stick to the path of becoming who you want to be and who God wants you to be. If there is an area where you aren’t all you can be right now, look for a friend that can’t help to keep you accountable to a higher standard.