Something that benefits me greatly in leadership is learning to be someone else's fan. By definition, I'm talking about being their greatest cheerleader and being the source of wind in their sails.
Look at it this way, when others know you are for them they will:
- Give more than they thought they could give.
- Reach further than they thought they could reach.
- Dig deeper than they thought they could dig.
It's inherent to the way we are wired.
When people believe in us, we are provoked to do more than what's possible on our own.
If this is true, what stops us from doing this for those around us?
In all honesty, I think fear is what holds us back. Fear holds us back from cheering others on. "What if they accomplish more than me? Better than me? Discover greater success or reward than me?"
I confess. These are thoughts that have raced through my mind before.
Whether I am leading up, down or shoulder-to-shoulder, one of the best leadership attributes I've adopted is the ability to be someone else's biggest fan. But it only happens when I take my eyes off of me long enough to see what God is doing in and through those around me.
Here are some things I do that help me maintain this leadership attribute:
That seems obvious. But seriously. I remind myself on a regular basis that I need to have an expressed interest in what others are doing beyond the shared tasks or projects that bring us together. When I explore and learn more about what's happening in their ministry, it helps me to know how I can partner with them more effectively.
Learning what's happening in another leader's ministry helps me know how I can partner with them.
This is a big help to me. When another ministry leader has something going on—maybe it's a big event they are leading or something they are pretty excited about—I take note. Literally. I make a note on an app on my phone. These notes are set up as notifications that will pop up at a later time. Not only am I prompted to pray for that leader but I'm reminded of an opportunity to send a text, email or quick call to let them know I'm cheering them on.
I'm a better team member when I take initiative to help other leaders win. Sometimes that means I set aside some of my own "front burner" needs to make room for theirs. I confess that I don't do this as well as others on my team. There are others around me that do this so much better. I'm personally challenged every time I witness it. They have a pure desire to help others be successful. The benefit is the emotional investment that buys them the returned favor later on.
The thing about these steps is we could continue to lead with a measure of success and never take any of them. We can even justify our actions.
I mean, if I'm hired to do a job, then if I do that job and do it well, isn't that enough?
The truth is... no. It's not enough.
I wasn't hired to do a job, to lead one area of ministry, and ignore the rest. I was invited to join a mission.
I was hired to move this mission forward to by creating environments that connect kids to Christ. But my focus and influence don't stop here ... they start here.
Becoming a champion of the vision in your church should be reflected in your actions. Becoming a champion of other leaders who are pursuing that vision too should be evident in your relationships.
Who are you cheering for today?
Gina McClain is a speaker, writer and children's ministry director at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. For the original article, visit ginamcclain.com.
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