30-Something Things I’ve Learned About Leadership

I had high hopes for this post.

In honor of my 30-something birthday today I was going to share 30 leadership learnings.  For about an hour I crafted this wonderful list that I was so excited and eager to post, but as I hit “save” I got a nice message that said “your attempt to save FAILED”.  Every attempt to retrieve it failed as well so here I sit with a non-existent list.

However, I bet the collective wisdom of this group has far more than 30-something leadership lessons to share…

So for my birthday I would love for you to share the best thing you’ve learned about leadership.

Bonus: I’ll send my favorite leadership book to the person whose post number is my actual age.  (I know you all know I’m not 15, so be generous and share your wealth of knowledge for the first 30-something and then the competition will be on. 🙂 )

Have a great Monday everyone!


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  • Lory Teague March 12, 2012  

    Love God Passionately

  • Lory Teague March 12, 2012  

    Love Family Relentlessly

  • Lory Teague March 12, 2012  

    Love Church Unconditionaly

  • Lory Teague March 12, 2012  

    Love People Patiently 

  • Morgan MacGavin March 12, 2012  

    Happy Birthday, Jenni!!!  I hope you are feeling better! 🙂

    This probably isn’t the BEST thing I’ve learned about leadership…but I think it’s good:

    You are always communicating, even when you aren’t speaking.  Make sure your actions, tone of voice, body language, etc. match up with the message you ultimately want to convey.

    • Anonymous March 12, 2012  

       That is SO good Morgan!  Thank you!!

  • Lory Teague March 12, 2012  

    loving God, Family, Church and People isn’t a 1,2,3,4 thing but must be done simultaneously.

    • Anonymous March 12, 2012  

       I love that perspective Lory!

  • Anonymous March 12, 2012  

    Happy birthday jenni! Here’s what I’m learning now: leadership is about more than your “target” group. Everyone you encounter is positively or negatively effected by your influence.

    • Anonymous March 12, 2012  

       Totally agree… a leader never really gets a day off – we’re impacting people all the time.

  • Leah Carreon March 12, 2012  


    The most important lesson I’ve learned as a leader, is that the team is only as healthy as the leader. If i work myself to death and don’t take time to refresh…then my team gets the left overs. So in learning to be healthy… saying No is just as important as saying Yes. 

    • Anonymous March 12, 2012  

       Leah, this one is painfully true.  We think we can mask our unhealth but expect everyone else to be doing well. 

  • Hilary March 12, 2012  

    Well, Happy Birthday Jenni! 

    The best thing I’ve learned about leadership… hmm… 

    Be willing to do everything you ask someone else to do. And love your people, all your people, all the time. 

    • Anonymous March 12, 2012  

       Love that Hilary!

  • Emily Carringer March 12, 2012  

    Happy Birthday!

    One thing I am learning…The more you lead the more you serve.

    • Anonymous March 12, 2012  

       So true Emily!  I miss seeing you!!

  • Twosands March 12, 2012  

    Happy birthday Jenni,

    I love what Coach Wooden said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” I love it because it give me freedom not to have to act like I know it all and the freedom to keep learning.

    • Anonymous March 12, 2012  

       So true!  Thank you for sharing that.

  • Trace Smith March 12, 2012  

    One thing I am learning is…it is NOT about me!  It is truly all about HIM!  I must continue to decrease as He must continue to increase!  

    Hope you have an AMAZING Birthday!  Thanks for investing your life in the lives of so many others!  Enjoy your day as we celebrate you!

    • Anonymous March 12, 2012  

       Thank you so much Trace!

  • Heidi Cassadas March 12, 2012  

    talk vision, act out vision, breathe vision, believe in the vision.

    Happy Birthday friend!

    • Anonymous March 12, 2012  

       Love it Heidi!  Hope you are well, friend

  • Mark Wilson March 12, 2012  

    Be humble with your friends that know Jesus and bold to meet those that don’t!

    • Anonymous March 12, 2012  

       Love that perspective Mark!

  • Megan Sweeney March 12, 2012  

    Everything you do reflects on Jesus. How you lead/teach reflects on your Pastor, which reflects on the Church, which reflects on Jesus. You can make or break a person’s decision to follow Jesus. 

  • Becky March 12, 2012  

    Hi Jenni! Happy Birthday!

    I have lots to learn, but a few basics that I have realized so far:
    1. Delegate, delegate, delegate!
    2. Be authentic all the time (people need to see the real you, even if you are scared to death)
    3. You are “training” others to be leaders, whether you realize it or not, so teach well!

  • Claire McLean March 12, 2012  

    i think one of the greatest things i have learned is to RESPOND not react.  and yip, i learned it the hard way.  i often have to  pause, breathe, remind myself of the promises and heart of God – and then respond. 

  • Liz Langford March 13, 2012  

    Do not let your schedule manage or control you – set your limits/boundaries and regularly evaluate if you are within them! 

    • Anonymous March 13, 2012  

       ouch 🙂

  • linda_rankin_ March 13, 2012  

    Create a safe place for failure. Let people try without freaking out if it is not exactly how you would have done it then talk about it after. Not doing this makes you a bottleneck to progress! Happy Birthday!

    • Anonymous March 13, 2012  

      “let people try without freaking out” – love that!

  • Amanda Sims March 13, 2012  

    I hope you have a fantastic birthday!

    I’m learning that I am often an unintentional limit to growth. Holding things too tightly and trying to control them too closely keeps us from growing beyond what I alone can do. It’s vital to let the right people in and empower them to do what God made them to do.

    • Anonymous March 13, 2012  

       So good, Amanda!

  • MattBowman March 13, 2012  

    One lesson I’ve learned is “Stop worrying about expanding your influence & instead focus on maximizing your influence.” When we’re constantly worrying about how to increase the number of hits on our blog or our number of followers on twitter, we risk missing out on the opportunity to really leverage our influence in a meaningful way in the life of someone in our immediate sphere of influence. On the other hand when you simply maximize & properly steward the influence you have, your influence tends to expand organically. To borrow from our friends at Catalyst, we have to “be present” where we are & with those with whom we do have influence.
    Oh yeah, Happy Birthday!

    • Anonymous March 13, 2012  

       Love that Matt!  So very true. 

  • kelli Wommack March 13, 2012  

    After you equip someone, EMPOWER them. Let them do their thing!

  • Dena March 13, 2012  

    Aww, sorry I missed your birthday! Hope it was a great one…

    I’d say leading is others focused. If I’m secretly consumed with impressing others, comparing myself with others, my ego or agenda and control of some sort…it’s all about me. If I even remember to look around for people I’d notice few, if any, are even really following.

  • Tony Alicea March 13, 2012  

    Hey Jenni – Happy belated birthday! 

    Agree with lots of folks here, and mine is very similar to @4d66a4753cf30cff3fbc0a6553651f3e:disqus – I heard a great leader say it years ago and I’ve followed his advice since….after equipping and empowering your team, always back them if they made a decision (right or wrong) with conviction in their heart, even if you completely disagree with their decision.  Talk to them about why you’d have done it differently, but never call them out publicly.  Every leader has made wrong decisions along their way – encourage growth in those mistakes.  After all, our Leader does! 

    • Jenni Catron March 14, 2012  

      Tony, congrats you are the winner of my favorite leadership book! Can you email me your address? Email me at jenni(at)crosspoint(dot)tv

  • David Lifefit March 13, 2012  

    Happy Bday “@FocusLeadership: The most effective leadership is by example, not edict. Anonymous”

  • Lory Teague March 14, 2012  

    I’ve enjoyed reading all your leadership lessons, thanks for sharing!

  • LinnaeHoppe March 15, 2012  

    That I don’t really know what I’m doing and there is lots more to learn =) Happy Belated Birthday!!

  • Chris Adams March 21, 2012  

    It’s not about me!  And since it’s not, when God asks me to do something I can’t do, I have no choice other than disobedience than to trust Him to accomplish His purpose through me. Ephesians 2:10 became my life verse long ago. “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”