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This morning I get to lead a breakout session during pre-conference at Orange 13 with the Next Gen / Family Pastor track. I am not a handout kind of guy so I am posting my notes here on the blog.

The question we all have as we lead is how can we make a lasting impact. What I have learned over the years is to make a lasting impact you have to learn how to be a 360 degree leader. You have to make sure and lead those above, across, and below you in the organization.

Easier said than done! In a messy leadership situation, in a church without clear direction, we often struggled to know how to lead. Truth is that you simply have to commit to lead through the mess or walk away. You have to lead with a 360 degree mindset…

Lead Up

The need to lead up never ends because no matter your role you are going to have people in authority over you. For some of you it’s a pastor. For some of you it’s a board or a committee. For some of you it’s an executive pastor, a board, an administrator, and a senior pastor. You have a list of people over you.

If we walked around the room and were honest we could all list off five things our senior leaders are doing wrong and could reveal their weak spots in leading. You can do this because you are a LEADER and LEADERS see these kind of things. We are consumed with forward progress and problem solving so it’s natural to see the problems of those above us. Let go of the guilt, stop complaining, start leading up.

  1. Embrace Authority / treat those in authority over you as you want the people who you lead to treat you.
  2. Build the Relationship / you have to work on getting to know who your leaders are…connect with them. Support them. Hang out with them. Don’t avoid relationships with people in authority over you no matter how you feel about their leadership ability. Influence flows from relationship.
  3. Deliver Consistently / when we do great work our superiors learn they can trust us, build trust by doing great and consistent work, make your area one that thrives.
  4. Discover your Leaders Strengths / your senior leader is good at something. Discover that and then add value to that strength.
  5. Fill the Gap / add value to your organization by working carefully to fill the gaps being left by your senior leadership
  6. Publicly Support / public support leads to private influence and access

Lead Across

The strength of an organization is revealed in the strength of the leaders in the middle of the organization. Leading across is not a one-time event, not a project, it’s an ongoing process!

  1. Care about more than just what is on your to-do list / leading across well starts with the heart. When I care about the health of my church I can start caring for the leaders of the church.
  2. Don’t pretend to be the perfect leader / that leader does not exist and if you are trapped in trying to appear that way people will naturally resist your influence. Be real, not perfect.
  3. Build Bridges not Silo’s / see how each ministry in your church can support the other and stop keeping your resources and influence trapped in a silo safe for only your ministry.
  4. Develop Authentic Friendships / discover who the people around you are not just what they do for the organization.
  5. Strive for Production not Politics / resist the temptation to advance your ministry as you step on the people around you. Think long term, not short term.

Lead Down

Lead the people who serve under your leadership with the same principles you would embrace if you led the entire organization. Don’t ever allow the frustrations you have with the direction of your organization to deter your effort to provide effective leadership to the people you lead. You are not born a great leader, you become a great leader as you lead. As you lead you are actually in a continual leadership lab.

  1. Walk Slowly / walk the halls of the ministry you lead slowly and get to know the people you are leading. Slow down long enough to actually connect with people you are leading. Quality relationships are the foundation of effective leadership.
  2. Believe in Your Team / look at potential and ability when you look at your team not always at their weakness. Everyone needs someone to believe in them…be that to the people you lead.
  3. Give Away Opportunities to Lead / make sure and take the spotlight off yourself and shine it on other leaders.
  4. Model the Behavior You Desire / it’s not what a leader says that will last, it’s what a leader does day to day that will be repeated in the organization.
  5. Continually Repeat the Vision / people have to know the why if they are ever going to be able to do the what with passion
  6. Reward Results / when you see the results you want REWARD IT don’t take it for granted. What is rewarded and recognized will be repeated.