Leadership Behaviors: invest in others
People invested in me, God used people in my life to help lead me on the ministry path that I have been traveling. There are two specific: small home church and David Horton. In the small church that I grew up in, someone saw potential in the gifts God had given me and because of that they were willing to put me in a place to use those gifts. When I was in high school my home church asked me to lead a portion of each Sunday morning service. I’m sure I was not the best they had but they gave me a chance. Then as I was about to finish college a professor of mine asked me to fill in for him in a leadership position. In both of these situations people took the time to invest in me. These are just two examples of many that I have been fortunate to experience.
As I lead I have learned that the greatest asset available to me is the people that I work with, minister to and lead. In the book The Heart of the Executive by Richard D. Phillips the life of David is examined as an example for leadership. One of David’s early assignments was that of a shepherd, leading sheep through some dangerous places and times. David knew that “for the shepherd, the product is the follower.” The same should be said of any kind of leader. Guiding those individuals entrusted to him to safety in times of trouble; leading them to still waters to find basic nourishment and leading them to green pastures to find food that will help them to grow.
I believe you must get to know the people you lead so that you will understand what kind of food (training, encouragement, direction) they need. And it is very evident if you have ever had the opportunity to lead that everyone needs something different, responds to different rewards, needs different training and sometimes needs to be directed to a different position. This information will not be known until you take the time to know and then invest in those you lead. Gaining this type of information takes intentionality and spending time with those you lead. The more people that I have on my staff the more time I spend in meetings or lunches with these people, not for meetings sake or even for production sake but so that I can get to know those I lead.
If a leader models this kind of caring for those he works with then what will be produce will be capable followers who can produce an unbelievable product because they are a well functioning team.“When the sheep grow strong, when they survive the hazards of the journey, when they return to the village transformed from lambs into strong rams, then the shepherd has faithfully and successfully discharged his duty….the shepherd is the servant of the sheep; it is their growth and nurture that define his task and set the agenda for his success.” The Heart of the Executive p. 7
Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. I Timothy 4:12-13
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. John 12:24