4 Leadership Learnings Everyone Needs To Relearn

Jen Willard
October 8th, 2019

Remember Your Value 

You matter, you are communicating something new or inspiring which is why you are able to lead! People are following you for a reason. Remember that you have value and that what you do is important. You don’t need to be arrogant to be a leader, but you do need a high level of confidence and the willingness to be bold. As a leader, you have the opportunity each day to teach and inspire something new in the world and you have the drive to go after it. 

Be unapologetically you in your leadership and surround yourself with people who stretch and challenge you. Since you are a unique voice in the world, you may find yourself with people who are trying to cheer you on or tear you down. Humility is important for a leader but so is knowing the reason why you stood up as a leader in the first place. If you don’t know your why and how valuable your voice is, it is easier to give up when the going gets tough. 

Support Your Team 

Every leader knows that your team can make or break you. If you don’t have a team, go find like minded people who want to get behind your vision and treat them like gold. You can’t truly be a leader if there aren’t people sharing your vision and working to complete your goals by going in the same direction. This is where you get to inspire people with your ideas for the future and encourage them to be a part of whatever you are trying to build. 

If you already have your team assembled, remind them that you are behind them 100%. Good leaders will always propel their team forward and place trust in them to go toward the set goals and visions of the organization. Teams function best when they know they are supported by leadership and can operate with enough freedom to accomplish tasks while knowing that they can always come to the leadership team for extra support. Continually encourage your team to push forward knowing that they have your support. 

Set Goals and Celebrate Wins

Part of caring for your team is teaching them what your wins are! You need to define what success looks like for you and celebrate when your team reaches their goals. The goals you set should be of varied level of difficulty to keep momentum moving for yourself and for your team. Set goals that are attainable in the next month, the next year, and the next 5 years. Hitting these goals will encourage you and your team to continue working hard for the next win. 

When you reach goals as a leader or as a team take time to recognize the hard work that it took to get you to this new goal. Encourage the people who worked hard to reach your goals so that they will have a reason to stretch toward the next one. You don’t have to spend lots of money to let people know you appreciate them either. Simply do something out of the ordinary to thank yourself or your team for working hard. 

Watch Out for Burnout and Find Support 

It is important for you to take care of you. As a leader, it may be tempting to try to work the longest hours to prove your worth. Some weeks, you may need to work longer hours than usual to complete a project but if you consistently work excessive hours, please be careful. Even if you are a passionate leader, burnout can happen and we have learned that this type of stress can cause leaders to give up entirely.

Another key to avoiding burnout is to build a network of leaders who may be going through the same types of things that you encounter. It is always helpful to have a listening ear when you encounter roadblocks. Choose these people carefully and look for mentorship over friendship when building a trusted network. Confide in people who will help you continue to grow spiritually and emotionally so that you can become an even better leader and learn through difficulties.  Take care of yourself and work hard because the world needs your voice, your passions, and your leadership. 

Jen Willard

Jen Willard has been in full time youth ministry for 5 years and is currently the Youth Pastor at church in Little Rock, AR. She loves continually learning about ministry and is a graduate of Nazarene Theological Seminary’s MDiv program. Jen loves drinking coffee and traveling to new places with her husband Bryan. Follow her on Instagram at @duckjd.

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