Apr 4, 2011

Pulling and Being Pulled As a Leader

"The things which you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit the same to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also." 
2 Timothy 2:2

In this passage, we see that Paul pulled up Timothy and helped him become a better leader. Now Paul is telling Timothy to pull up others and help them become better leaders as well.

1. Who is pulling you up and helping you become a better leader?
2. Who are you pulling up and helping become a better leader?

Picture it like this. Your right hand is reaching out and grasping the hand of someone who is helping you become a better leader. At the same time, your left hand is reaching out and grasping the hand of someone you are helping become a better leader.

To be a balanced, growing, impacting leader, you should be pulling others up while being pulled up yourself.

Who is pulling you up and helping you become a better leader?

When I was in middle school, I played basketball. I wanted to improve. So, in between practices and games, I started playing pick-up ball with high school kids. They were a lot bigger and stronger than me. They could jump higher than me, run faster than me, shoot better than me, and play defense better than me. Yes, I got a lot of my shots blocked. Yes, they scored on me with ease. But...each day I played with them I was getting better. Why?  Because even though they were a lot better than me, they were making me a better basketball planer. They were pulling me up. 
  • What should you look for in the person you want to pull you up?
    • They should be a better leader than you.
    • They should be someone who can help you identify and work on your blind spots. 
    • They should be someone who is willing to be honest with you about your weaknesses. Not someone who will tell you how good you are, but someone who will challenge you.
    • You can be pulled up by great leaders through their books. You may not have the time or access to meet with some great leaders. But they can still pull you up through their books and video/audio resources. Bill Hybels, in my opinion, is one of the great leaders of our day. He is way out of my league. I would love to spend a few days asking him questions and learning from him, but that's probably not going to happen. I have met him and talked with him in person, but only for a few minutes. But...he has pulled me up through his books. Last year I read his leadership book, Axiom, and I came out of it a better leader. Through reading, you can be pulled up by any great leader you want to learn from.
    • Don't wait for a leader to offer to pull you up. Take the initiative and ask them.

Dr. John Maxwell is an incredible leader. He has pulled up countless leaders through his speaking, writing, conferences, and more. He is also a Teaching Pastor at our church so we have the privilege of hearing him on a regular basis. I recently heard him share about first starting out as a leader years ago. He had a great passion to grow and improve as a leader. And so he took initiative. He contacted some of the greatest church leaders in the country and asked for an appointment with them to learn from them. He told them he would pay them $100 for just a short amount of their time. Not everyone said "yes," but many did. And so early in his ministry, he became a better leader by being pulled up by great leaders.

Who are you pulling up and helping become a better leader?
  • What characteristics should you look for in the person you want to help become a better leader?
    • Willingness
    • Teachability
    • Passion for God
    • Hunger for growth
    • Faithfulness
    • Focus
  • How can you help the person become a better leader?
    • Build a relationship with the person. Earn their trust and respect.
    • Help them discover their blind spots and work with them to improve in those areas.
    • Give them key ministry books to read and report back to you the top ten things they learned from the read.
    • Model for them the area(s) they want to improve in. Let them observe how you react or lead in certain situations or environments.
    • Let them lead in that area and observe. 
    • From your observation, give them feedback and ways they can improve.
    • Meet with them on a regular basis. Between meetings let them set goals.
    • Measure improvement at each meeting and give them tips on how they can continue to improve.
A great example of this is a young man who serves in our Children's Ministry. He has a call to Children's Ministry on his life. He has so much potential. We are pouring into his life. We are giving him key ministry books to read. We observe when he teaches and interacts with the kids and then give him feedback and ways to improve. He has such a passion to become a better leader. We are excited to see him continue to grow. I believe one day he will lead the children's ministry at one of our campuses.

Maybe it's time to approach someone and ask them to help you become a better leader. And maybe it's time to look for someone you can invest in and help become a better leader.

As leaders, our life should be one of pulling and being pulled.

Posted by Dale Hudson

1 comments:

Great article. As I wrote (http://differentway4kids.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-churches-can-fall-short.html), one area that many churches fall short in is in leadership development, especially in children's ministry. We need to be continually developing a pipeline of leaders.

On the other side, I am realizing over the past few weeks that one reason I feel so "empty" lately is because I really don't have anyone "pulling" me up. Feeling isolated, on an island, is helping me learn to trust God more, but is not good for me for the long term.

I will be making a link to this post on my blog next week.

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