I could probably write this post for the rest of the day, simply because I have learned so much as a leader over the years (primarily because I had no idea what I was doing when I first took a leadership position, and I’m still learning today). For now, though, here are some leadership thoughts I’ve considered over the years:
- Most of the world doesn’t know you. No matter how famous you think you are (and you might indeed be famous to many people), most of the world has probably never heard of you.
- Measure your leadership success not by what you accomplish, but by what happens to your team after you’re gone. Most of us know that truth, but we don’t live by it. We too often like to accomplish in the present with little regard for the future.
- Great leaders with no integrity are bad leaders. You might have more leadership prowess than anybody, but your leadership will decline if people can’t trust you.
- There is no “behind closed doors” conversation. What you say in private could very well become public . . . especially in a social-media driven world.
- A leader without a vision is really a follower. Somebody in every organization has an idea of where he or she wants the organization to go. It just may not be the person given the position of leader.
- You can’t fully avoid the fishbowl as a leader. Part of being a leader is knowing that somebody’s always watching you. That’s inevitable if you’re out in front.
- The most important things you do as a leader are behind the scenes. I speak, of course, as a Christian leader here – and we must lead out of our daily quiet time alone with God.
- Idolatry always lingers around the corner. It’s hard to be a leader and not get attracted to the possibility of dollars . . . or power . . . or position . . . or fame.
- No leader falls on purpose. I’ve met no fallen leader who planned to fall. Most were certain it wouldn’t happen to them, in fact.
- Organizations and ministries will go on without you. If you think that’s not the case, you’ll likely find out differently when you leave. If you’ve led them well, they might even have your replacement before you leave.
What leadership thoughts have been important to you?