I consider it an honor to lead in multiple areas of Christian ministry. From my university ministry day job to working on staff at my local church, leading is part of what I do and who I am. I sometimes even write about some of the things I have learned about leadership here and on social media, but I’m far from an expert. Although I think I’ve been given some gifts in the area of leadership, learning to lead in a godly and effective way has been one of the hardest things I’ve done. Here are three leadership struggles I deal with on a daily basis:
1) Interacting with lots of people
FACT: I AM AN INTROVERT. I love people and enjoy being with them, but I can become drained quickly. When I’m responsible for large groups and many people need to interact with me, it can take an emotional toll if I’m not responsible and aware of how I am expending emotional energy. Self-awareness has been key for me in this area. Not to be overdramatic, but I’ve also noticed that for me to be able to give a lot of energy to many people, I have to make sure I’m sleeping and eating well too.
2) Actually leading instead of simply training
I enjoy absorbing knowledge. I then enjoy teaching other people about the things I have learned about. However, that’s not necessarily the same thing as leading. I have to remind myself that part of what I do as a leader is more than just equipping; it’s also about having a vision and inspiring other people to get there as I teach. John C. Maxwell said, “Leadership is influence.” Influence is a lot more than just regurgitating facts.
3) Communicating effectively
I used to think that because I read, write and speak fairly well, that meant I was a solid communicator. Was I wrong! I’ve had a lot to learn about how to communicate professionally and personally in ways that make sense to the person I am communicating with. I’ve learned that as a leader, it’s your responsibility to make sure your message is understood. In order to do this I’ve had to think hard about little things like my tone of voice, body language and the precise words I choose to use.
Identifying weakness or struggles is the first step to making progress toward improvement. Have you struggled in these same areas? What’s your biggest leadership struggle?