We all want to lead well. There’s a lot of talk about leadership, and rightly so. We often quote John Maxwell on this blog, who says that:
everything rises and falls on leadership.”
I believe that’s true, not just because it’s a great statement to believe, but because I’ve seen it in action for nearly 25 years leading in Children’s & Family Ministry.
But we often forget, or at least minimize, the place of good management. Good leadership requires good management. And it starts with you and me effectively managing ourselves.
I believe there are at least 3 critical areas that leaders must manage in order to lead well, and they are all connected. These 3 areas are:
It’s been said that, in order to see a person’s real priorities, all you have to do is look at how they spend their money and how they spend their time. There’s a lot of value to that statement. The difference for the leader is this: money can be replaced, but time cannot. As the leader, how you spend your time carries a “trickle down” effect to those you are leading. So it’s critical that leaders identify their priorities (which should be primarily about developing themselves, other leaders, and the ministry as a whole) and manage their time accordingly.
What’s your plan for managing your time?
Have you thought about the importance of managing your emotions? Emotions are real, and they can bring down years of solid leadership in a matter of moments.
We all carry emotional strengths and emotional weaknesses. Our weaknesses are what we need to primarily pay attention to in terms of managing (although strengths should be managed, as well). Weaknesses might be anger, bitterness, self-pity, disappointment, jealousy, anxiety or any number of other areas that can grab us and bring us down.
Typically our area of weakness leaves us susceptible to either lashing out at others (which can destroy us publicly) or beating up ourselves (which can destroy us privately). We need to understand what these weak points our when it comes to our emotions.
What’s your plan for managing your emotions?
The older I get the more I understand the importance of energy. We all have things which energize us and things which deplete us. We must manage these according to our stated priorities. Be careful not to deplete your energy bank to the point where you:
- are vulnerable to your emotional weaknesses;
- have nothing left for your family;
- cannot accomplish what’s really important in your ministry.
What’s your plan for managing your energy?