It doesn’t matter what training or experience you have. Nothing has prepared you for these leadership days of COVID-19. I have had mentoring calls with Christian leaders in the marketplace, ministry and not for profit organizations globally. There are some common themes in these calls.
Over the next while I am going to share observations from these conversations with leaders and pass on some mentoring insights to help you with your leadership.
What is your role?
Leaders are getting so caught up in the adrenaline powered hour by hour changes that they have abandoned their key role – leading the organization. Leaders are there to make hard choices for the sake of the organization and to honour your team. Your job is not to protect your people, it is to lead them through this as you care for the overall ministry or organization.
Perhaps more than at any other time your team need to see you lead with confidence, faith and skill. Allow your people to grow through this in their faith, and skill. Treat them with honour, dignity for who they are – even if they are laid off. No one was prepared for this.
Christian leaders are usually very compassionate people. I love that. It is just that sometimes it can get in the way of you having the space needed to make tough decisions. I coach leaders to find the space you need where you can ask God what to do. He has the wisdom that you need right now. The Bible reminds us in James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” And remember, this is coming from a God that cares about you and everything that concerns you.
But how do I know if the answer is of the Lord?
A question that often follows when I encourage praying for wisdom is, “But how do I know if the answer is of the Lord?” Two responses. One is that if it isn’t clear, then ask God to make it clear to you. The other is that we should look for His peace (shalom) to be upon us. Colossians 3:15 in the Amplified Bible states, “The peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always].”
Volatile, Uncertain, Complexity, Ambiguity
These are wild (VUCA) times: Volatile, Uncertain, Complexity, Ambiguity. Remember that you are not alone in this. Think of someone else in your line of work and give them a call. Encourage them in their leadership, share best practices, help each other with problems. get over yourself and reach out for help.
There is a great need right now for what is called spot coaching. It is a ten to fifteen minute call to help hold up the arms of leaders facing these challenges. I am going to offer FREE coaching to as many as I possibly can in the month of April and maybe beyond. My next post will have the details of how to book a time to talk, pray, cry, decide or be encouraged – whatever you need. Until then, as my mentor Barry Hawes used to say at the end of every call, “Keep your heart up.”