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How to Lead Beyond Your Title

I have found the following statement to be true.

People don't follow a title. They follow someone they love and respect.

Your title doesn't mean you are guaranteed that volunteers, parents and other staff members are going to follow you.

Your title can only take you so far.

That being said, the big question is this.

How can I earn the respect and love necessary to lead beyond my title?

Let's talk about this.

Learn how to lead discussions. Create a culture where everyone is encouraged to share their opinions and ideas. Encourage everyone to speak up including the quieter team members.

You won't always be the expert and you won't always know what you

should do. This is a big reason why you should sharpen your listening skills. Remember...

The smartest person in the room is the room.

Become an active listener. Listening well is one of the most important aspects you need to lead beyond your title. Focus on what the person is saying when listening. Listen for what they are really saying.

Empower your team membersIn a nutshell, when you empower someone you are saying "I trust you." And when people are given responsibility, they will give their best. Remember these two quotes regarding this.

Mediocre leaders are powerful. Great leaders are empowering.


Mediocre leaders are stars. Great leaders create stars.

When you show your team members that you value them, they will want to go the second mile for you and will work hard with you and for you.

Become good at leading change. There will be times when you need the team to adjust or refocus. When you lead the way and are open to change, your team members will become more likely to accept change as well.

Support and protect your team members. Let them know you have their back. Provide them with the resources they need to do their job well. When you go to bat for them, you will begin to earn their respect and commitment.

I remember a new executive pastor that I served under. Our children's ministry had a need for more office space. Other members of the executive team felt we didn't need additional space. But this new leader went to bat for us and was able to secure our request. He earned our respect and loyalty for this early on. Your team needs to know that you are going to support them.

When you work hard to support your team members, you'll earn their respect and will prove to them that you are committed to their success.

Show them you care more about them as a person rather than just caring about what they are doing. One of the worst leaders I ever served under, was the opposite of this. In our one-on-one meetings, he never once asked me about my family, my life outside of work or how I was doing. My respect for him as a leader went downhill quickly.

When you are interacting or meeting with a team member, take some time to find out how they and their family are doing before you launch into a list of things they need to improve in.

Work on these areas and you will become a leader that people will follow way beyond your title.

p.s. You can get tons of great leadership tips from my book "Lead Well in Children's Ministry." It is available now at this link.

Here are a few of the key chapters that will teach you how to lead well.

  • Lead Yourself Well

  • Lead the Ministry Well

  • Lead Up Well

  • Lead Volunteers Well

  • Lead Parents Well

  • Lead Through Change We

Remember....everything rises and falls on leadership. Step up and be the leader God has called you to be. When you do this, you will find that people will follow you for who you are as a person and not just because of your title.


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