Leaders have a God-given desire to grow. Within the heart of every leader lies a perpetual dissatisfaction for what is, and a desire for what could and should be. This includes the leader's own leadership ability. Every good leader I know desires to be a better leader than they currently are.
Here are four ways to grow your leadership:
Wisdom is foundational to leadership. Leaders live with the constant burden of leading through situations they are uncertain how to handle. Whether it's your marriage, parenting, an issue at work, or a ministry challenge, every leader is desperate for the wisdom to lead through uncertainty. James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." Wisdom comes from God, and it's offered to Christian leaders who petition Him for it in faith (James 1:6-8). Nothing grows our leadership like prayer.
We've all heard the phrase "Leaders are readers." We live in a culture blessed and often overwhelmed with a wealth of information. Leaders don't just grow through their own leadership experience, but through the leadership experience of others. An amazing group of leaders has gone before us and lives among us. God's grace to us is that they have written or currently are writing in some fashion. Reading and applying the right books, blogs, and articles will grow our leadership.
My most immediate growth opportunity often lies on the lips of those I lead. Hopefully you live in a "feedback-rich environment." Hopefully you've created a culture in your home, at your workplace, or on your ministry team where people are encouraged to both give and receive feedback. God has an amazing way of using the people we lead to help us grow in the areas He desires. The question is, are we listening to those we lead? Are we open to hear from them where we need to adjust course, correct, and grow? Listening to those we lead results both in our growth and their good.
Every day we're bombarded by opportunities to watch others lead and learn from both their strengths and weaknesses. You can watch your spouse, your parents, your boss, your coworkers, your pastors, and every manager or supervisor at every business you frequent throughout the day. How do they do what they do? What do you see worth replicating? What do you see that could be improved? What do you see that should never be repeated in your own leadership? Watching others lead is both a free and a frequent opportunity to grow our leadership.
Pastor Andy Stanley says, "Leadership is stewardship, and you're accountable." One of the many things we're accountable for in our leadership is growth. By God's grace, if we read, pray, listen, and watch, we can all grow our leadership ability today.