When I meet someone, I often wonder who can this person benefit from knowing and who can benefit from knowing this person? Because of this obsession, I have a great network of incredible leaders. People often ask how I do it so here are four thoughts on connecting with people.
1. Learn more than you teach
I remember hosting the great mentor, Earl Creps, at The Oaks. A couple of us took him to IHOP after the service to spend some time with the wise one and learn from his vast knowledge. Instead, we found ourselves answering his questions and teaching him about technology. Earl learned how to send a text message. He later went onto write “Reverse Mentoring”. The best leaders learn all they can from others.
2. Listen more than you talk
Nate Ruch is one of my spiritual fathers. As I was about to finish my sophomore year at NCU, I was planned on leaving my role as a small group leader to travel the country with an evangelist. Nate met with me in the school cafeteria and I will never forget this meeting. I spent 30 minutes spilling my guts and it took him 5 minutes to speak deep wisdom into my life. Nate, a great leader, knew the importance of listening.
3. Add more than you take
Over the years Dr. Sam Chand has become a great friend. The most important thing he has taught me is that the connections God has given you are for sharing, not hoarding. Earlier this year Sam introduced me to William Vanderbloemen, a fellow church staff consultant, in a simple email and then let the connection grow from there. Today William is a great friend and incredible resource for HelpStaff Me.
4. Care more than you are cared for
Scott Wilson has been The Oaks’ senior pastor for nine years. Every time I bring a visiting leader by, Scott makes them feel welcome and makes his every possible resource available to them. I love watching this. From the Chief of Staff for Saddleback Church to the youth pastor of a small congregation, Scott brings them into his office and gives them everything he can. Leaders care for others above and beyond what is expected.
The business of connecting isn’t as difficult as we make it. Reach out. Look beyond yourself. You’ll be surprised how much can happen.
To be continued…