I do not believe in coincidences because everything has a purpose, a reason. The fact that you are alive especially at a time like this is not a mistake. You have a purpose and a special gift tailored for this time.
As leaders, every day brings new challenges and decisions that require us to move out of our comfort zones. Now, more than ever, we are being tested by unique hurdles, like global pandemics and social unrest. It is easy to begin to doubt our leadership when there are so many unprecedented challenges. However, I want to remind you that you were placed in the midst of a crisis because you have the ability and skills to lead. In fact, sometimes, a crisis is essential to your growth as a leader and can teach us to trust our gifting.
Knowing that you are born for a time like this is also keeping the faith even when things do not go as planned. Let every setback strengthen your resolve to win and help others win alongside you. Lean on the relationships that you...
As you continue to walk this leadership path, it’s essential to remember that you were designed for this role. Many of us know the feeling of going through seasons where we lack confidence and question our gifts, abilities, and callings. This lack of confidence can often come as a result of comparing ourselves with others.
It can be easy to lose sight of how far we have grown, especially in the age of social media, where we are hounded every day with pictures, quotes, and posts, which give us the illusion that everyone else has it all figured out except us. As someone with over 40 years of leadership experience, I can tell you that reality is much different than what people on social media allow you to see.
When you go through moments of disappointment and begin to question your role as a leader, draw strength by reminding yourself that God created you with a purpose. Avoid unhealthy thinking and know that you are essential for someone’s growth and...
Consistent preparation is a core part of leadership. And though we are all called to lead, it is preparation that helps us navigate through the challenges of leadership. Overcoming these challenges is not a coincidence. Instead, it is the result of hard work and requires discipline and preparation.
Whether reading books, attending seminars, or learning from and with other leaders, preparation demands personal accountability. Taking time to prepare yourself for the task ahead is essential to your personal growth and the development of those you lead. If you fail in your ability to prepare, the vision suffers.
Nonetheless, as you learn and prepare to be a better leader, you also must be confident in your preparation. Sometimes we may find ourselves in moments where we doubt our abilities, especially after a failure. However, we must understand that preparation does not exclude us from failure. It does, however, reduce its chances. And with the proper perspective, you will...
What an amazing time to be alive!!! I know we have had our share of pain, losses, and struggle over the last eighteen months, and I will readily acknowledge the horrific costs many have paid around the world. For the transformational leader, there is an opportunity to be a light and strength in dark places where so many feel weak. This is a moment in history that you were born for!
You were born into the world now instead of at any other time. Not during the Dark Ages or the Renaissance but now. You were placed on the planet now. We have been wired, designed, and equipped to prosper in the current environment. Why? Because people need what you carry in your heart and mind.
People are in search of your transformative leadership and their future depends on your courage to lead and lead now. Some call it fate, others call it fortune but I call it the sovereign plan of an amazing God… the opportunity to be the answer to someone’s question!
The opportunity to coach and encourage the leaders who come behind us requires us to communicate openly and effectively. Effective communication includes the ability to listen to the thoughts and ideas of others without becoming defensive. While language barriers and cultural differences can make communication a challenge, having the heart to add value to emerging and potential leaders can supersede all barriers. One of the most powerful steps we can take as leaders is to commit to developing a leadership culture where new leaders feel accepted and valued. David Osborne, who serves as a campus pastor with his wife Lydia, once shared this observation about his mentoring relationship with me. He quipped, “I know that some of my ideas were absolutely crazy and impractical, but Bishop always listened to me like I knew what I was talking about!” We had a great laugh over that, but I was intentional about listening to David’s ideas and I learned from them....
Encouraging potential and emerging leaders is a subject I am passionate about because I have found that great value can be added to new leaders through friendship with experienced leaders. This can be challenging because it requires vulnerability from the experienced leader and the emerging leader.
Emerging leaders may find themselves struggling to understand purpose and direction, a sign that we need more leaders who are willing to coach others. Surveys across a range of Fortune 500 companies state that up to 71% of young leaders joining the workforce today feel they are not fully engaged at their workplace.
It is alarming to think that many potential leaders do not feel they are valued. This is a cry for more effective coaching for the coming generations.
Pouring into leaders is a long-term commitment to adding value to women and men who will make their communities and their world a better place. You can do this by giving advice on navigating tough life decisions,...
As a leader, it is imperative you start out with simple instructions! Outline expectations effectively and give feedback when you can—don’t overcomplicate things for your staff. Starting off with this one simple step can increase the effectiveness of both you and those you lead!
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I still recall one of my first opportunities to lead. I was five and had been initially placed in the “slower” first-grade group. No tests were given, it was just assumed since I was their very first African American student in 1965. But thanks to a persistent Mom and an open-hearted teacher, I would be asked to read to the class. After that Mrs. Patton asked me to help some of the students in the class who struggled with their reading.
My experience with Mrs. Patton has taught me a crucial lesson in leadership: that it is never too early to start. At the tender age of five, I was exposed to taking responsibility for people and ensuring that their reading improved. Even though I did not understand it at the time, in hindsight, it has influenced my life’s work. This is why I encourage our community of Leaders at CLN to always involve the young with tasks and ask for their contributions.
Now ask yourself: Who is the Mrs. Patton in your life? Who was...
As you journey through life remember that there is a generation coming behind you and it is our responsibility to nurture them to greatness.
Thanks to technological advancement, the world is changing rapidly and growing “smaller” every day. This has increased our opportunities to reach people around the world and to impact emerging and potential leaders. As a result of social media and other forms of communication, the generation following us is experiencing pressure and influence at a speed never experienced before by humankind. This is where we come in. As a leader in my community, I believe I have a responsibility to help the next generation make sense of all the influences and discover their purpose and potential in the midst of this changing world. In the relay race of life, we have to pass the baton of impeccable community leadership to them and it is our responsibility to ensure that they are prepared to lead. In the coming month, I will be sharing...
We have established in our past letters the essence of communities to our growth as individuals and as leaders. However, we must not forget that at the core of this ministry of building and establishing communities is a genuine heart for community. This is not limited to our immediate environment or family. It is an all-encompassing call to nurture communities to thrive in oneness, not just exist. It is to genuinely desire growth for all. This is the beginning of community-based leadership.
You must also keep in mind that these gifts are not just installed in us from birth, they are nurtured through the Word of God and a continued passion to see people and the world become better. It is a deliberate growth, just like we feed ourselves to grow in health. We develop a heart for community by consistently showing up and asking ourselves, “What can I do to make things better? What can I contribute to ease people’s burdens?” You must know that what matters...