Don’t Neuter Your Leadership

There’s a funny dynamic I’m seeing in teams:  We have a tendency to neglect developing ourselves in the areas that other team members are strong.

This is a principal that we’re being taught in modern management – build your team to compliment your strengths… surround yourself with people who have different gifts than yours.

I think the principal is sound, but what I’m seeing as a result is a tendency to neglect any development of gifts we may not personally have.

For example, I often shirk my responsibilities as a spiritual leader because I’m surrounded by a team of pastors whose shepherding and care gifts are much stronger than mine.  It’s easy to say, “they” do that and not develop this dimension of my leadership.

However, I believe it’s wrong and it neuters my influence as a leader.

The best leaders learn to develop all four leadership dimensions.  Of course we’ll be stronger in some more than others, but to completely neglect a dimension is a handicap to your leadership.

While I may not be the best spiritual leader on our team, if I abdicate spiritual leadership altogether, I can easily be perceived as “all business”, “cold” or “heartless”.

Conversely if our spiritual leaders only lead from a shepherding or care perspective, they may be dismissed when it comes to holding their teams accountable for accomplishing their objectives.

If I lead solely from a visionary standpoint, I may be ignored because I don’t know what it takes to get the job done today.

I need our spiritual leaders to teach me how to discern the spiritual health of our team.  I need our visionary leaders to coach me on vision casting.  I need managerial leaders to challenge me on systems and structure.  I need self-leaders to model self-discipline and ask me tough questions.

I need all the leaders and so do you!

Good teams compliment each others’ gifts.  Great teams cultivate and develop each others’ gifts.

What dimension of leadership have you been neglecting?

You may also like

No comments

  • patricia March 14, 2011  

    “Good teams compliment each others’ gifts.  Great teams cultivate and develop each others’ gifts” – LOVE THIS!!! 🙂 great thoughts!

  • David Parker March 15, 2011  

    Awesome. Thanks, Jenni, for your leadership in all dimensions!

  • Jim Drake March 15, 2011  

    Good thoughts Jenni. I’ve been diving back into the STRENGTHS based leadership stuff again. I agree that we need to focus on our areas of strength and be aware of our weak areas. I think it all goes back to engagement–being part of the vision, values and voice (borrowed from a book called FIRED UP that I’m reading right now) and know that your work matters–no matter your strength or weakness.

    Just being aware of these areas that you feel like you need to grow in makes you an “extraordinary” leader. Most people just keep operating without thinking about the “other” things that matter in leadership.

    Great post.

  • Matt March 15, 2011  

    This is a great approach to developing both aspects of leadership. Cultivating an environment that harnesses the power of both of these areas is vital to the life of the team, and ultimately the church/organization.

    Passage this along for sure.


  • Brennan Loveless March 15, 2011  

    Thanks for this post! As a young pastor I have often defaulted to the popular thinking of depending on others to support the ministry with their strengths, and i can definitely see where I could be finding ways to develop myself in a lot of areas so thanks for pushing all of us onward to be better leaders!

  • Bethany Planton March 15, 2011  

    Such a good reminder! Thanks, Jenni!