Give room to people

From time to time we meet people who have been trampled by their leaders, or leaders haven’t lived up to the role of a leader. From time to time we meet people hurt and disillusioned by leaders and its always painful to see and hear about.

At the same time, I as a leader always have to look to my own leadership and do what I can to keep my path as clean as possible. Sometimes we need make some changes, redirect and move forward, other times we need to strengthen some areas that we didn’t handle so well.

I love action, and work well in hectic environments, crisis situations and where the is a lot of vision. On the other side I am not strong when people suffer and are in situations where they need more care. These kind of situations take a lot from me and I work constantly on improving some of my caring skills.

As leaders we will meet people with a lot of vision, and we will see people running after things, but we will also meet our staff and colleagues when their days are not so joyful: when people lose a loved one, when marriages are struggling, or when people feel lonely. A good leader knows that these times come and is prepared to start the needed conversations, as well as the ‘big picture’ talks about future and passion and vision.

In my leadership teams I have always had people strong in this, way better then myself. To be able to provide healthy leadership, it is humbling and necessary to rely on these people.
When too much power is with one person, I can guarantee you that he or she will leave dead bodies behind (figuratively). This is why I love working with people with different giftings and personalities in my leadership team. It makes us all so much stronger. It makes the leadership more healthy and we can each work from our strengths because we compliment each other. That’s why I strongly believe in teams as a way of leadership.

A good friend of mine is a great person if anyone needs to talk. Yes, you know those talks. He is the best when people suffer and he can comfort and listen. He has an eye for those that are not doing so well in a team. What a resource he is in our team! He is not the best in crisis situations, or with things that have to do with action, vision or future. That is not his domain. He follows vision, he likes when there is life around, but that is not where he is going to lead people. He is leading people out of the struggles or through their struggles is maybe a better way to say it.

I on the other hand, I’m not there – I talk with people, but most of my staff knows that I am not the one that can work the longest in caring for them – “What your the plan to get out of your problems?” is more my question, and that is not always the best question.

What is the reason I mention these two different giftings? You need them both in a team, a work place and in mission.

The more secure you are with yourself, the more room you will be able to give

How to give room to them? The whole secret of giving room to people is this: how secure are you as a leader? The more secure you are with yourself, the more room you will be able to give.
Insecure leaders have a tendency to go into control mode, trying to make things so they can control them, but big living movements and churches need freedom to grow. Growth comes from releasing people, and you can only release people that are different from you when you are secure in yourself.
One of the challenges we can face in dealing with different giftings is when we have visionary leaders being lead by pastoral and caring leaders, then we need to make sure that there is room for both and that the pastoral leader is secure enough to be able to release your visionary gifting.

When you have visionary leaders leading you need to make sure to surround your self with people that have a pastoral gifting, if not you will have some broken vessels in your organisation.

We need both and tension will come. Visionaries will be frustrated that there is no action, pastoral will be frustrated that there is no one caring for the people.. but secure leaders can live with the tension of both.

If you feel inside of you a fear or an insecurity in your leadership… work on it. Get mentors and coaches that can bring light to it and you will be a great leader. If you compromise yourself with nice words and control you will end up as many before you – and no one wants to end up in the role called dictator.

Till next time,

Rune Sæther

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