I've heard it said that leadership cannot be taught, it can only be learned. I've tried to be a student of leadership and even though I lead teams, there's still a lot I can learn from them. There probably aren't too many new ideas that I can share but I hope to continue to present this in a fresh way to a fresh audience.
We try to do leadership evaluations at the beginning and end of school years. Currently I am journeying through doing evaluations with my team as we head into a new ministry year. I always start out by asking how their time on our leadership team has been, what they've learned, how they feel about the direction we're heading, etc.
After that I encourage them with their strengths and where they have shined this past year. In most cases a year of ministry has come with significant growth for students. It really is cool to see how they've grown. Many of them don't even realize how much they've grown until we have a conversation about it.
Next, I present them with a challenge for this next year. This challenge is an area of growth for them. For example, I told one of the members of my team to really put themselves out there in a leadership role. To allow herself to feel the vulnerability of that level of leadership. She's been a solid leader but I see more in her so I'm going to challenge her in that and try to draw it out of her more over this next year.
The next question I ask is for them and their growth but equally, if not more, for my growth. I simply ask "how can I lead you better this year?" My team is made up of a group of individuals who have individual lives with individual needs. If I try to lead them as a group first, the individuals that make up my team suffer. In turn, my team suffers. If I am going to be a student of leadership I have to first recognize I have to lead the individuals on my team according to what they need of me. I want to learn from them to be a better leader to them and in doing so become a better leader myself.
The last question I ask, depending on how long they've been on my team, is "how have I led you up to this point?" It's interesting when you have a team that is willing to be honest with you what you'll get.
So, my leadership evaluations are evaluating my leadership more than my team's leadership. My hope, as with all my blogs, is the challenge and encourage others. So that is my hope as you read this, that you're encouraged. That you're willing to evaluate your own leadership and grow.
Let me know your thoughts...