You’ve gone through the six keys to recapturing passion. You’re feeling great. You’re energetic, hopeful, and ready to recapture momentum.
So what do you do next?
You take all that energy, enthusiasm, optimism, and passion and channel it into raising your level of leadership.
Here’s what I mean.
The Three Levels of Leadership
Your impact can only go as far as the level you lead at. It doesn’t matter if you’re leading a church, a business, a community, or a family: you can’t drift your way to a great life. To truly have an impact, you need to take a close look at your leadership level.
In my experience, there are three basic levels that someone can lead at. If you want to capture momentum, you have to raise yourself from the lowest to the highest. Which of these levels best describe you?
- Lowest: The lowest level of leadership is a person who says “it’s all about me.” If you’re at a low level of leadership, you’re focused on getting your own needs met. Surprisingly, you’ll find this just as much in ministry as you do in some businesses. The marks of low-level leadership are a leader who dictates rather than discusses, who won’t listen, and who doesn’t pursue feedback. Low-level leadership is unsustainable, and believe me, it’s not a level you want to be at.
- Middle: You see this level a lot. Most businesses operate very well with a “middle” level of leadership. When you lead at this level, you’re focused on results. It’s reactive, generally efficient, and driven by competency. There’s a lot of order in this level of leadership. You’ll find that decisions are made at the top level, that politics can often come into play, and that the organization reacts pretty well to challenges. If you’re at this leadership level, you’re not necessarily in a bad place. However, there’s a much, much better place you could be.
- Highest: High-level leadership is marked by creativity. Like middle-level leadership, the results are there. However, the impact has gone far beyond that. The focus is on ensuring that everyone is not only operating efficiently but at their highest level possible. High-level leadership leads to a distinctive culture: it’s innovative, it’s agile, and it’s inclusive. The people involved have a sense of ownership and purpose, and the organization is adaptive and effective, even in complex situations.
How to Achieve High-Level Leadership
If you’re currently at a low or middle level of leadership, I want to challenge you to make an upgrade. Here are four hallmarks of high-level leadership that I’ve seen work time and again:
- Create a Team: Forget hierarchy. Flatten your organization. Get rid of the concept of kings and pawns. Everyone is on the team. Could you imagine the difference it would make in your organization if everyone saw themselves as the racecar driver instead of a member of the pit crew?
- Shared Decision Making: Without shared decision making you will never have organizational momentum. People support what they create. If you’re the one making all the decisions, you have to talk everyone else into your vision. Why plan something for someone else when they can plan it themselves?
- Shared Leadership: At low and medium levels of leadership, you’re the leader and everyone else is the follower. At a high level, everyone is a leader, and everyone is on the same team.
- Collective Vision: Again, people support what they create. Momentum comes from a collective sense of vision, not a group of people going along with a single person’s commands.
In order to work these keys into your leadership style and revitalize your organization’s momentum, ask yourself these four questions:
- What am I doing to create a culture of teamwork?
- What am I doing to make sure we are all making decisions?
- What are we doing to share leadership?
- What are we doing so the vision is collective and everyone is involved – including the entire church?
Don’t think of these as one-time questions. Review them once a year to diagnose where your organization is at. And don’t stop there. Think about experiences you can have and people you can emulate who will help you grow as a leader and think better thoughts. Get out there and experience those things and get time with those people.
Momentum simply can’t happen without growing as a leader. Be honest with yourself about where you’re currently at and push yourself to a higher level. If you do, momentum will follow.