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It’s sunny and early, and there are name badges and cups of coffee everywhere.
This first day of the 2018 Global Leadership Summit is full of potential, and the attenders here north of Chicago at the live event are expectant for two days of intense, world-class leadership.
In the first keynote of the day, Pastor Craig Groeschel started us off with the core universal need we all share as leaders: how to be a leader people actually love to follow.
Craig opened with a powerful string of ideas:
- We will cast vision for a brighter future.
- We will inspire others to do more than they think is possible.
- We will confront injustices and right wrongs.
- We will speak up for those who have not voice.
- We will get better.
He went on to break down the three skills we can develop to become that kind of leader.
3 Things You Need to Become a Leader That People Love to Follow
The first thing Craig helps us understand is that there’s a big difference between a leader who is popular and one who is respected. When you’re an employee under a leader you love to follow, you feel three things:
- You feel valued.
- You feel inspired.
- You feel empowered.
Craig says that to be a leader others love to follow you must have a:
1. Heart to care.
You will never be a leader that others love to follow if you don’t love people. The number one reason people leave companies is because they don’t feel valued.
So, if you’re a leader, adopt two phrases, and use them more than you think is necessary. Tell your team, “I notice” and “you matter.” When you’re appreciating so much that it’s uncomfortable, appreciate even more. Never rob your team members of the blessing of knowing that you notice and you care. Remember, some leaders make themselves important. The best leaders make you see that you are important.
2. Passion to inspire.
There’s a difference between motivating and inspiring. ‘Motivating’ means you’re asking someone to do something they might not want to do. But inspiring people means pulling something out of them that’s part of their calling, something they want to do based on their own passion and convictions.
Employees who describe themselves as inspired are twice as productive as ones who say they’re ‘satisfied.’ So as leaders, it’s so much more important to inspire our teams than to keep them happy. Something practical you can do is practice humility; pride discourages, humility inspires.
In a study by Bain & Company, they identified 33 core skills that help us be inspiring as leaders. See the full list here. But the good news is, though there are 33 identified skills, you only need one or two well-developed strengths to be inspirational.
Craig also goes in-depth on how to inspire your team in the newest Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast here.
In the study, the stand-out quality that inspires more than all the rest is centeredness. Being centered is being fully engaged, stable, confident; it’s when the values of the leader are consistent with the way they live. A centered leader is guided by values, driven by purpose, and obsessed by mission.
3. Willingness to empower.
It’s simple. As leaders, we must empower the people around us to be leaders, too.
The best leaders unleash higher performance through empowerment, not through command and control. You can have control or you can have growth, but you cannot have both. You need to trust the great people around you.
Think it may be hard to trust people? The best way to find out if you can trust someone is to trust them. Let people start where they are, and trust them to succeed.
A tip for learning to delegate: Don’t just delegate tasks. If we only delegate tasks, we’re creating followers. Instead delegate authority. Delegating authority creates leaders with their own creativity and innovations.
So as a leader, focus on making only the decisions you can make, then delegate other decisions deeper into your organization. Your new favorite words need to be “I trust you” and “You decide.”
If you don’t trust your team you’re either too controlling or you have the wrong people. Either way the problem is yours to solve.
The recap of Craig’s talk. To become a leader that people love to follow, you must have a heart for people, a passion to inspire, and a willingness to empower. Our greatest model of this in the Church is Jesus, who had all three.
Bonus point: In a candid moment at the end of his talk, Craig included an unplanned, off the cuff fourth point to close his talk. The final thing we need as leaders to become someone others want to follow is courage. The courage to be real, transparent, and hopeful. As leaders we can feel so much pressure to be strong and right.
But people aren’t looking for that. They’re looking for honesty, vulnerability, and integrity.
You don’t have to be somebody else. You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to be smart, you don’t have to always get it right. But you do have to be real.
Our favorite quotes from Pastor Craig’s first talk:
- “Passion transforms a job into a calling.”
- “The best way to find out if you can trust someone is to trust them. Let people start where they are and trust them to succeed.”
- “To become a leader that people love to follow, you must have a heart for people, a passion to inspire, and a willingness to empower.”
- “You will never be a leader that others love to follow if you don’t love people.”
- “Never rob your team members of the blessing of knowing that you notice and you care.”
- “Don’t just delegate tasks. If we only delegate tasks, we’re creating followers. But if we delegate authority, we’re creating leaders.”
- “As leaders we can feel so much pressure to be strong and right. But people aren’t looking for that. They’re looking for honesty, vulnerability, and integrity.”
Craig’s prayer starting off the 2018 Summit this morning was “Lord, help us become better leaders, not so we can better, but so we can make the world better.”
That is the heart of our love of both leadership and ministry. Stay tuned on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more on both topics live from the Global Leadership Summit. And check back on our blog today and tomorrow, August 9 and 10, for the best recaps and quotes.
Hear more on leadership from Craig Groeschel in the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast, and get free leader and ministry resources at Life.Church Open Network.
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