Becoming a great leader doesn’t happen overnight. It is years of learning, reading, and experiencing compounded together… and the discipline of continuing to do those things even while leading.
At camp, we know that we can’t through our leaders into the summer without any preparation. We are careful to provide reading, plenty of experiences to exercise problem-solving, and training for leading at camp. Whether you are leading a team of volunteers in your church, leading your family, or working at camp leading a team or leading kids, you need to know where you are going and have a plan to get there.
Here are 5 ways to help you prepare to do just that:
- Grow spiritually. Spend time in prayer and in the Word. Without being poured into, you will not be able to pour into those you are leading. Have daily time with the Lord. Have people pouring into you. Seek out a mentor from someone who has been where you are.
- Read articles and books about leadership. Find some people who talk about leadership and read anything you can get your hands on. By reading tips and other people’s experiences you can curtail the process and not have to experience the same mistakes that they did. Tons of these are blogs or online articles, so they are free! Here are a few I’m a fan of: Seth Godin, John Maxwell, and Jim Collins.
- Get to know your team, preferably before you begin leading them. Ministry happens best in the context of relationship, and the best way to lead is by ministering to those that you are leading.
- Clearly define what success looks like and create a plan to succeed. You don’t have to know all the answers, and need to be honest from the very beginning about not having them. Prepare by knowing what you need to accomplish. Have a plan, and know that your plan can be flexible.
- Ask those you are leading for insight. Let them know they are a valuable part of the team. Be the final decision maker, but collect ideas when you can and think they will be helpful. There is a massive amount of creativity and knowledge floating around in the people that you lead.