Updated: Jan 14
Who Should I Be Leading?
"Who should I be leading?" was the question that rolled over and over in my mind. I had just completed my Masters of Ministry Leadership through Rockbridge Seminary, and I was working at Christian life Fellowship serving in the area of Ministry Development. Pastor Dean wanted to know what I would include in basic leadership training, A myriad of ideas about leadership development circled through my mind—there were so many things a leader should know! What would I consider to be fundamental to grow in leadership? One of the basic questions I asked myself was "Who should I be leading?"
As I thought about it, I realized that the first person I needed to lead was myself. Before I could influence others, I needed to settle some things in my own heart so that I could learn to be a servant leader like Jesus and lead from the "inside-out." "Inside-out" had become a theme in my life. Ever since God showed me that "what's in my heart comes out in my art," I was keenly aware that what ever was in my heart was going to find it's way out in my words or behavior.
I also realized that I should be leading others, one on one. I knew I was called to influence, and that did not always mean directing teams or inspiring large groups. My everyday relationships provided perfect opportunities to lead through relational influence.
Next was team leadership. I had learned so many things about leading teams that I wanted to share with others. I began drawing boxes on the whiteboard, one for each leadership domain—Lead yourself, Lead one-on-one, Lead a team, Lead an organization. I placed arrows to show the progression.
As I studied my little framework and began to work with it, I realized that I also wanted to add another domain that brought the leader's focus beyond the organization they served. I added another box and called it "community leadership."
My "Leader to Leader™ Framework"
But I also wanted to show that we must continually be leading ourselves first. It's not a "one and done." It's a cycle, and the cycle is continually moving. For example, we should continually be mindful of our relational influence even if we are focusing on leading a team. And if we are called to lead an organization, we must also be mindful of the principles of team leadership and of leading well relationally. I added arrows to show the on-going care that must be taken to grow in each area—and it all goes back to leading ourselves well first.
And there is was! This little diagram represented my framework for leadership.
While I was developing my little framework, a myriad of ideas were swirling through my mind. I had learned so many things that would be appropriate to share for each domain. My next logical question was,"For each of these leadership domains, what should I do to lead effectively?"
What should I do to Lead Effectively?
As I began to answer this question for each one of my domains, I was surprised to see that literally everything I had ever learning about leadership fit someplace on my framework! And I could continually build on this framework to grow in leadership for the rest of my life!
Not only do I use this framework for myself, but I use it to coach leaders and facilitate workshops to strengthen teams. I've gathered a strong team of coach/facilitators and we offer facilitator training as needed.
Watch for blogs with thoughts on each one of my five leadership domains.