Lesson #1: If you feel it is necessary to continually remind people you are the leader, there is a real possibility you are not.
Lesson #2: Be Last.
Lesson #3: Praise Publicly. Correct Privately. Encourage Consistently.
Lesson #4: Listen and allow input. Never let yours be the only voice you hear.
Lesson #5: Leaders move forward and grow by looking back and learning. Leaders who are successful consistently evaluate past decisions to ensure better future decisions.
Lesson #6: Followership is a prerequisite to leadership. If you have a difficult time following you will have an even more difficult time leading.
Lesson #7: Be patient. There are times when no action is the best action.
Lesson #8: It is okay to not be the smartest person in the room.
Being a leader does not mean knowing more than anyone else. Leadership is not about education or intelligence. It is not merely an academic activity. Being a leader means knowing how to employ people in the right places to maximize their effectiveness for the greater good of the organization. This pulls from another lesson: a leader must know the strengths of his/her people. Recognizing these strengths, an effective leader gives his/her people the space, trust, and encouragement to do their work. It is here the effective leader sets aside the need to be in absolute control and instead offers direction and guidance which contributes to a shared organizational goal.
This is a lesson I have learned in my years of pastoral ministry. When it comes to areas such as maintenance/construction, finances, and legal matters, I know I am not the smartest person in the room. That’s okay with me. I have been able to surround myself with those who are the experts in these areas, empowering them to lead in their area of gifting. An effective leader is willing and able to learn something from those who are the smartest people in the room. Organizations are teams. At the end of the day, if the team wins, it does not matter who gets the credit.