Do you want to get better as a leader? Here is how:
There are three things you must do to grow as a leader. First, learn and apply powerful principles and perspectives. Second, say yes to leadership experiences that challenge you. Third, get strong feedback from capable, trusted people around you. I want to give you a few thoughts on the second point: saying yes to leadership experiences.
What leadership opportunities should you say yes to? Let me share a personal story to illustrate:
A few weeks ago, my five-year-old son Danny was nervous about going to school. He and I had been talking about courage and about growing. It was Sunday night, and his nerves were building up for Monday morning.
I asked him, “Danny, do you remember today at church when Daddy led worship?” He nodded his head. He was sitting on the front pew at church to be close to me.
Growing up, I played the piano extensively, was a member of the national conservatory in Lebanon, then trained with a college professor in the US. I won many piano competitions and played with orchestras. I also played piano at our church from a young age. Currently I help with worship by playing the piano at our church. Occasionally I am asked to lead worship when the worship leader is out of town, but leading worship is not my experience or comfort zone. Still, I always say yes. While I love to serve, leading worship always takes a lot out of me because I have to play the piano, focus on worshiping, sing (and that’s not my training), and say the right things between hymns. I also have to coordinate with the other worship team members and keep an eye on the worshippers on the pews. It’s challenging because I have not done it as much. But I say yes, and I am getting better.
What leadership opportunities should you say yes to?
I continued to tell Danny, “Did you know I was nervous this morning when I led worship?” He turned his head and looked surprised. I think he did not realize that his daddy could feel scared. I said, “Yes. I was nervous, but I did it anyway because that’s how we grow into what God wants us to do and to be.”
It’s the same for you and I as leaders. To grow we must say yes. As we step into whatever it is we are nervous about, we must expect to be a bit nervous. We must expect to have some missteps. We must expect to have some embarrassing moments. When we leave our comfort zone, we become more vulnerable, but that is the price for growth. Step into it.