Any kind of leadership is risky business. If you don’t think so, I’ll let you in on a little secret that could change your mind: no one is ever really qualified to lead. Yes, you read that right. No amount of degrees or experience can qualify you. This statement may seem absurd, but when you see leadership as what it is—an entrustment that invites us to shape God’s greatest treasure, PEOPLE—you have no choice but to step into positions of leadership (parenting, coaching, teaching, bossing, etc.) with confident humility.
This idea of confident humility may seem like an oxymoron, but isn’t that just how God works? He loves to confound the wise with “His foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:27) . . . In this post, I want to give you three practical (and maybe a bit “foolish”) tips that will help you lead with confident humility.
- Believe that you are chosen (or appointed) for your position of leadership. This statement, on the surface, may seem to encourage arrogance, but nothing could be further from the truth. Many young leaders secretly doubt their appointment, so they either act arrogantly to compensate for their deficiencies, or they back down from their rightful role. When you work and live in the knowledge that you are “unqualified” yet appointed, this positions you to lead with confident humility.
- Gather and learn from different leadership styles and methods. The day you stop learning is the day you start dying. That’s why it’s so important to consume leadership resources—things like blogs, podcasts, books. It’s also imperative to connect with other leaders and ask what works for them. As you gather information, you’ll figure out what works best for you and the people you lead. Each person you lead—whether they’re your kids or employees—will require you to use different leadership tools, so make sure to build up your supply.
- Don’t be afraid to confront, but always believe the best. Confrontation is a gift from God. It’s an open door to greater intimacy and understanding. But too often people avoid it because they’ve seen it done poorly. When I was first began leading people at 19, I would get super intense and correct others without first seeking to understand them (this was an attempt to compensate for my insecurities), or I would hide from difficult conversations to avoid their aftermath. Neither approach worked. Now when I confront, I refuse to assume that I have the full picture, so I go into difficult conversations asking questions. This approach ensures that I have greater perspective and positions me as a leader to give clear correction and direction.
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The bottom-line is, we need great leaders. After all, leaders are supposed to take us places we wouldn’t otherwise go and inspire us to do things we wouldn’t otherwise do. Let’s be confident in who we are as sons and daughters and help lead others into everything God has for them.
Like I said earlier, I’m still learning what it means to lead. J So I’d love it if you took a moment to share a tip or two with the S&D community. And if you have any specific questions for me, I’ll do my best to answer them over the next couple of days.
Until next time.