Who’s on your team?


I think the book that has had the most influence on me as a leader is John C. Maxwell’s book The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day.  I bought this book over 6 years ago and I re-read it at least once a year.  I’m about 1/2 way through it again in the chapter called “The Law of the Inner Circle”.  In this chapter Maxwell is pointing out the importance of surrounding yourself with great people.  He says:

“There are no Lone Ranger leaders.  If you’re alone, you’re not leading anybody, are you?  You see, every leader’s potential is determined by the people closest to him.  If those people are strong, then the leader can make a huge impact.  If they are weak, he can’t.”

Maxwell then goes on to give you a list of the types of people you should surround yourself with.  Here is my list:

Intercessor– someone to pray for you.  My intercessor is my PaPa, my mom’s dad.  I remember back in college that PaPa would send me letters and tell me how many times he had prayed for me each day.

Listener – the person you confide in, vent to and bounce ideas off of.  I have several people that fill this role including my sister Jes, and my friends Kat, Rachel and Ashley.

Encourager– my encouragers are my dad, my mother-in-law Janice and Pete’s wife Brandi

Creator – creative people that stretch your mind, challenge your direction, increase your vision, and multiply your gifts.  My creators are my husband Merlyn, Matt, and Pete

Discerner– people who see what you don’t.  In my personal life by discerner is my husband and in my professional life my discerner is Pete.

Giver– someone who loves you unconditionally.  The givers in my life are my Nanny and my sister Jes.

Defender – the person who steps in when you are too weary to fight.  My husband is my greatest defender.

Implementer – people you can trust to get it done.  Ashley is my implementer.

Celebrator – someone who really knows how to throw a party.  My friends Kat and Rachel know how to do this right.

Resourcer – people who help you gather information.  I don’t have one specific person for this role.  Different people serve in this role depending on the need.

Sponsor – someone in your life who will believe in you and use his influence to help you along.  I’ve had different sponsors in different seasons, but my current sponsor is Pete.

Thinker– people who are talented at solving problems.  My husband and Brian Dishon (one of the Cross Point elders) serve as thinkers for me.

Networker – people who know people.  My friend Kat is brilliant at this.

Mentor –  others ahead of you to help you along the way.  This is one that I have had trouble finding someone consistently to fill.

Protege– find the right person to pour your life into.  My sister Jes is the person that I want to do this for… I’m not as consistent as I would like to be.

I encourage you to take some time and create your list.  Which of these roles do you fill in other people’s lives and who fills these roles in yours?

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  • Brandi March 8, 2008  

    I am so honored to be one of your encouragers! I truly do think you’re the best!

  • Vicki Viar Barham March 12, 2008  

    Jenny,You were many of the above for me last summer during our spiritual gifts class.You took the time to listen,encourage and pray for my son who I was so worried about.Thank you.He is so much better.He lives in Knoxville now.We communicate on a regular basis. I hope. you are having a great week .Vicki

  • Jad Duncan March 17, 2008  

    Very cool post. I will need to check out this book. Often times, I tend to rely on Melissa to fill all of these roles and I think that might be a little unfair to her. Thanks – Jad

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