(photo courtesy of our media guy HECTOR CRUZ)
Before I get started here, I must give honor to whom honor is due, and give credit to a great leader. The content of this blog comes from a great teaching I received from Pastor Scott Wilson, Lead Pastor of The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, TX. Check him out and follow him HERE. He’s the man, and this teaching is transformative.
A couple of months ago, I joined the great team of www.ministrycoach.tv, where I serve as one of their coaches. This is a great opportunity for church leaders looking to grow in leadership and influence. Check them out and sign up for coaching if you can.
Leadership is about RELATIONSHIP & RESPECT.
They are like the 2 wings of an airplane. They must be strong, they must be sure, and they must be in perfect balance. No one would ever step on a plane with 2 wings that are different sizes. That is a recipe for disaster.
Well, as leaders, we must consider the two wings of our plane, and consider the balance point for them.
1. If you have Relationship without Respect, you will have FRIENDS who won’t follow you.
This is my struggle. I’m very relational, love people and spending time with people. The challenge for me is when I’m SO relational that I lose being respectable. Typically, it’s because of comfort zones. That is, I get too comfortable with those I’m leading, lower my guard, say or do something “amongst friends” which costs me leadership capital. Maybe a crass joke, or a loose comment, or saying something that should have remained unsaid in that context.
This can be great for making friends, and “being real.” However, you run the risk of compromising your respectability.
2. If you have Respect without Relationship, you will have FOLLOWERS who don’t like you.
This is very well understood in my current context. I pastor in an Army town, and it’s best depicted in “The General” who barks orders to soldiers he doesn’t care for. This is, unfortunately, all too common in our churches too. We carry our titles as our insignia, and make demands for respect and compliance, but don’t first win the hearts of the people we are leading by caring for them and building genuine relationships with them.
The risk here is that you end up with no one to lead, especially in a culture where relationship and networking is of high value.
Here’s the thing, finding a balance is key. Be relational and Be respectable. Try to take an objective look at your leadership and determine where you are lacking. Perhaps you need to pull back on the relational aspect while earning the respect of your people. Perhaps you need to prove yourself worthy of respect by actually being a person of integrity, moral clarity, values, etc. Maybe you have never even considered being relational OR respectable.
At the end of it all, leadership is about influencing others to go where God wants them to go. And influence does not come without relationship and respect.
Find the balance. Be Relational. Be Respectable.