I’m going to cut to the point because I’m sure the title above has you asking some questions. “Is there really only ONE way to lead?” My answer is short and blunt, yes. It may not be the answer you were expecting. And expounding upon the reason behind the yes is probably what you are not expecting either. There is only one way for you to lead, and that is to lead your own way. Wait a minute, did I just say there was only one way to lead but that is to lead your own way? Yes. So as you read all of these leadership posts and as you read books or listen to podcasts on leadership keep that in mind.
The only way you can lead is your way.
I cannot lead how you lead. You cannot lead how your coworker leads. Leading is so situational and subjective. While subjective, there are generally 3 main aspects to lead, and I will peel back the curtains a little in my own life to give examples of how these 3 main aspects of leading all join together to make up my leadership style. Remember, my combination of these things make up my own
leadership style. Please take into consideration how you can potentially add some of these things into your own daily lifestyle but know it will end up looking different for everyone.
The first aspect of leading is being out front.
This is what many people view as leading. Being out in front and directing. I do this in several aspects of my life. First and most importantly is my family. I may not be very talkative, but when direction is needed or there is a stirring within me I act. This is done through nightly quiet time with Amy. We are reading through a book together, a section each night. This quiet time allows us to absorb material together and process it in our own ways and how to implement the things we learn in our own lives. I also lead out front at work. Being a part of a management team in a retail business there are employees that look to me for answers and guidance. There may be a question regarding how to handle a certain situation with a customer or how to properly complete a task per policy.
The second aspect of leading is from a supportive and encouragement role.
This shows in my life mainly here with Be The Proof. Be The Proof as you may be aware is the brainchild of my wife Amy. Having previously worked for a church plant doing many different things I learned about starting a ministry, branding, and operationally a general outline of things. With working full-time, wanting to not neglect my family, and in just a few weeks starting seminary I knew I wouldn’t be able to contribute a mass amount of hours in helping get Be The Proof moving. I still lead my wife into Be The Proof however. My support and encouragement alongside my suggestions and input of all of the time and effort she puts into this helps to show her my belief in her and my desire to help her be the best she can be in what God has called her and us into.
Finally, the third aspect of leading is to simply observe.
Yes, it does feel counter intuitive to say that just observing and standing by while other people do things is leading but it is. No, that does not mean ONLY standing by and watching is leading. That is why it is only an aspect or part of leading. Everyone cannot be hand held through things all the time, even in the name of leading. Kids need space to learn, grow and make mistakes. Employees need to learn how to handle adversity or problems and learn to seek for answers or help on their own. Just like God doesn’t make your life fall perfectly into place how he wants you to be or act. There is freedom there. With freedom comes risk but also the only real opportunity for growth and to prove what one knows.
Where in your life do you need to stand out front and lead?
Where do you need to stand alongside someone and support through encouragement? And where do you need to do what is often the hardest and stand back and allow others to put what they are learning (or what you have taught them) into action? There is a football movie I remember from my teen years that I would watch all of the time because to me it was overall a good movie and I could connect with at that point in my life. ‘Hometown Legend’ may not have been in theatres or sell many copies but its message is worth way more than any of that. In your leading it is not about you. You need to step aside so that “God can show up, and show off”.
In case you missed any of the #BTPLeadership series, click HERE to see what you’ve missed!