As you have been getting ready for camp this summer I know you have been thinking about and preparing for a host of leadership responsibilities. If you have not thought of yourself as a leader, let me encourage you to begin to do that now. Each of you are leaders this summer. Whether you are leading staff or leading a track and Bible study of kids, you are a leader. Over the years I have read a host of leadership books from John Maxwell to Lee Cockrell and with each book I have learned something. So let me share 4 essential leadership tips as you begin the summer:
- Be a person of character – In our office we hire for three things in this order: Character, Chemistry, Competency. Not originally mine but we have embraced it and made it our own. Character speaks not about what you do but who you are. It is the core of your being. I love the golf analogy that a person of character, when playing golf, takes the extra stroke even when no one can see them. In simple terms it is who you are when no one is watching you. It is living what you say and it is the most important aspect of leadership.
- People are important – In everything you do working with people is vital to success. My mother used to say “you get more from honey than vinegar.” Great leaders have earned the respect of people. They put other first. They are servants to those they lead and are more concerned how to help others than themselves.
- Leaders work hard – In anything you do hard work is a key principle of success. Every great athlete put in more time at the gym than his or her teammates. Every great CEO was in the office first and most often leaves last. In everything you do, doing it well requires hard work and sacrifice. Every director needs someone they can go to when they have something that needs to be done who they know will do it with a smile, even if it requires them to stay up later than everyone else. Being a great Bible study leader requires spending time with kids during hang time, being with the church you host each evening, greeting kids before worship, parties and I can’t wait. There is simply no substitute for hard work.
- Spend time with God – In the fast pace camp schedule there can be little “free time,” and what can often take a back seat is time with God. You simply can’t give what you don’t have, so making time for Him each day is vital to your leadership success. Spending time with him builds your character, helps you see the importance of people, and helps you see the eternal importance of your work this summer, which drives us all to work hard. HE makes you a better leader.