Leadership: Put Your Skin in the Game


I’ve experienced many successes in life, and for every big victory, there was a strategy. With the Super Bowl behind us, I’ve been thinking about what it takes to lead others to victory! I have found that every victory was grounded in my passion and commitment to a cause. The playbook looked something like this:

1. Start Small/Think Big – Check your motivations

Great leaders are attentive students. I became a student of those who had victories and led well. (I also studied those who did the opposite.) I read, observe, listen and then act.

Some people like the idea of leading, while I was taught to follow first and then lead. Some desire to lead, but do not want to follow. Following well is a prerequisite for leading well, and when I find someone who is unwilling to do the former, I question their motivations for the latter position.

Leadership requires accountability and responsibility. Almost anybody can grab a title given the appropriate circumstance, taking responsibility as a leader means working through conflict, checking my motivations, clarifying my vision, and confidently coaching others to the finish line. Leadership is not about those who simply want to make it to the NFL; it’s about those who show up for training on Day 1 with the goal to win the Super Bowl.

The church is supposed to heavily influence our world, but the reality is that we want others to respect our “leadership” without doing the hard work of fully submitting to Christ (start small) and by fully living and sharing the gospel (think big).

2. Fully commit or don’t commit at all – Priority is the Name of the Game

What are you passionate about? Write that passion down, along with your current responsibilities. Evaluate which responsibilities will remain (those in alignment with your passion) and which will need to take flight (if only temporarily).

If I commit to something, I commit 100%. At different times during the season, however, we all have to prioritize our commitments. If you are in the season to intensify training, a narrowing of focus and priorities maybe required. In your season of training, it is important to clearly communicate your intentions to ensure that you are meeting expectations.

For example: I sing with the church choir and I love it! Choir members were recently asked to sign commitment cards for the Easter Program. After reviewing the extra rehearsals leading up to the program and the three nights of the program itself, I felt it unwise (in my current season) to make that commitment. I clearly communicated to the Director that “I’m still committed to the choir, but I cannot take on that extra responsibility right now.”

3. Begin with the End in Mind

Clarifying your vision, identifying your passion, and prioritizing will all assist in narrowing your focus. Answer the question, “What is my purpose for doing this?” What is the current reality of the situation and how can I move this reality forward to the desired end state. Clearly write your vision. (The Lord told Habakkuk to write the revelation that he gave him – Habakkuk 2:2-3.) Establish goals to accomplish your vision. (Plan out your ways – Proverbs 5:21, 14:8, 15:22, 19:2.)

Currently, my scripture focus is: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).” I addressed the question of purpose by asking myself, “How can I own this truth in my life?” I’ve prayed intensely for God’s direction to do just that. I have already established goals for this year, and have reassessed my responsibilities to intentionally support the priorities that align with the focus and vision that God has given me for this season.

Will you make the tough decisions? Are you going to be a visionary and truly seek out what God uniquely has for you to do? Will you fully commit to lead your team – family, church, organization, etc – to a victory?

© Natasha L. Robinson 2011

You may also like:

This Woman’s Call to Leadership

Say “No”

Trimming the Fat

Published by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

Servant of Jesus. Truth-teller. Leader. Mentor. Author of Books.

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