Questions from #CatalystConversations

IMG_5272Last week I had the great privilege of being a part of Catalyst Conversations with Tyler Reagin, talking about my favorite subject… yep, you guessed it: LEADERSHIP and my new book The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength!  The event was broadcast live and many of you joined us for the conversation… which was awesome and so much fun!

We answered several of the questions that you tweeted in to us but since we couldn’t get to all of them, I thought I would take some time to answer all the questions you guys posed during the discussion.  And you asked some great questions!  

One quick note… if you weren’t able to join us live but would like to watch the conversation, Catalyst is going to make it available for a short 30 day window.  Sign up here and you’ll be notified when it’s posted.

Now to your questions…

@brittneywoods_: Can you speak to leading with close friends while using all 4 areas? When it could be easier to leave out areas.

Sometimes when we’re leading with people who know us well we can assume things are understood.  For instance I can assume my friend knows I’m praying for her and therefore I can abandon spiritual leadership with her because I think it’s a given.  In actuality that friend may be really moved by me asking if or how I can pray for her and support her.

Another example could be that when working with friends, it’s easy to assume they know the vision – they know the “why” behind what we’re doing.  Because we’re friends we just assume “they get it”.  But even those who know us well need to be reminded of the purpose and direction.

Your question is a good one… I think it’s a reminder to make sure that even your comfortable relationships are getting your best and complete leadership.

@DeepEndLeader: How do you lead UP using the 4 dimensions of extraordinary leadership?

Great question!  Leading up is such an important skill for all of us to develop.  Here’s a quick thought on each dimension:

Heart – Make a point to get to know more about your leader’s family.  Occasionally ask about their kids or their hobbies.  Find out what they value most and show interest.

Soul – Pray for your leader.  Your context will dictate whether you tell them you’re praying for them or ask for prayer requests, but either way pray for your leader in private.  They need it!

Mind – One of my personal mantras is “don’t bring a problem without a potential solution.”  This is a great way to use your mind to lead up.  When you need to give an update or discuss a problem, always think a couple of steps ahead and bring ideas.

Strength – Repeat the vision your leader has cast to you.  When a leader sees that you get it and you share the vision it is incredibly encouraging to them.  You’ll earn influence by sharing the urgency they feel towards completing the goal and accomplishing the vision.

@cassalexandra:  As a relational leader, how can I enhance & not downplay my strategic thinking strength? How can I combine them well?

Relational and strategic are a powerful combination!  Your relational equity can give you the influence you need to compel people towards action.  Because they know you care about them, they will be ready to go wherever you lead.  Just be cautious of being manipulative.  Build relationships because you care about the people and challenge them with action because you care about the cause.

@mgracef: What first step do you recommend to love your people well and not be seen as a dictator in a routine office setting.

I love the heart behind your question.  This sounds like a situation where you need to bring some strength of vision along with relational leadership.  If the setting is routine, people may not really know why they are there and why it’s important.  I would look for opportunities to connect what every person does to the greater purpose of the organization. Connect the dots for them and also point out how their strengths contribute to the vision.

@MBrooksYoung: What is your legacy/footprint goal you want to accomplish by December 2016?

Wow!  This is a fantastic and challenging question!  I would like to train and equip 50,000 leaders this year through writing and speaking.  (Whew – that’s scary to type out!)

@revranvan: Do any of the four strategies function better than others when discipling adults?

I don’t think so.  I think it depends more on the culture, the current need, the leader and the people.  Different seasons will sometimes require more of one dimension or another but I think all of them play a role.

@beckyfull: As someone who loves teaching leadership, what are you doing currently to grow your own personal leadership?

Such a good question… READ, READ and then READ some more.  I have stacks of books on different subjects that I’m constantly reading to learn and grow as much as I can.  Additionally I try to make sure that there are people older, wiser, and more experienced leaders than me who I’m talking to and learning from regularly.  I’m also a fan of continued education and training.  One last thought… I learn a lot by processing the leadership challenges that I face.  I do a lot of journaling of my own experiences.  I often find that God gives me insight for the future as I process what I’m leading today.

@NathanMcW: What are you favorite blogs to help you grow in the leadership areas of Heart and Soul?

Hmmm… I can’t think of any blogs immediately but there are a couple of books that have had a major impact in my development in heart and soul:

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry
A Tale of three Kings: A Study in Brokenness
The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Leader People Want to Follow

@brey_byers: How do you lead someone in a specific area of a job that you may not be as strong in?

You all are asking such good questions!  Seriously… so good!

Okay, for this one I would start with being honest.  It’s okay and actually can be really powerful when you acknowledge that the other person is better at an area of the job than you are.  And the more leadership positions you are given the more common this will become.  You’re in the leadership role because of your ability to lead an exceptional group of people to accomplish the goal together.  Lean into your team member’s expertise.  Praise them for their strengths and equally show up with yours.

@ChrissiG: What’s the one tool young leaders need to have to help their early development into the “real world”

A “whatever it takes” attitude.  See every opportunity as a learning opportunity.  Choose to see every task and every job as an opportunity to learn something new.  You will and you’ll be better for it.

And I would also add this… don’t expect others to develop your leadership.  Read, grow, study, ask questions, go to conferences, listen to podcasts… no one is responsible for your leadership development but you.  Own it!  And when someone does pour into you, you’ll appreciate it all the more.

@StevenJV: How do you lead volunteers who don’t seem to be committed?

Vision. Vision. Vision. Remind them of why you do what you do.  Realize that part of your role in leading volunteers is to be the Chief Cheerleader.  You’ll get tired of hearing yourself say it, but keep saying it.  Say it until they mimic you and then say it some more.  And then they’ll either be all in or really annoyed and move on. 🙂

@KBtheBrave: How do you encourage leaders who are committed & loyal, but misplaced?

This one can be really tough.  I would lean heavily into relational leadership followed by strategic leadership.  Start with spending time with them and understanding their heart and passion.  If you feel the misfit, it’s likely that they do too but they don’t know what to do with it.  Ask questions.  Listen well.  As the conversation unfolds you may be able to start openly talking about the points of dissonance and working towards a solution.  Ultimately if a misplaced leader is hindering the organization, you need to do the tough work of making a change.  These are the complex moments of leadership that require great discernment and wisdom.

@ypcouch: Can your book be used with High school teens?

I think so.  The principles are certainly applicable.  Some of the stories may not be, but if you’re leading them through it and adding age-appropriate examples, I think it could be powerful.  I wish someone had shared more leadership principles with me when I was that age.

Thank you for all the great questions!  I loved being a part of this event!

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