You May Need to Wear These 4 Hats as a Leader

by Jan 30, 2017congregational, faith formation, Featured, Leaders, Vibrant Faith, youth ministry

I’ve got a closet full of ball caps. I don’t know why, but I’ve just collected them over the years and I can’t seem to bring myself to throw any away. I suppose they all have memories associated with them. But today I put on a hat to cover my wind-blown hair (it’s gotten a bit long and goes in twelve directions) and I started thinking about the hats I wear.

As I write this, I am participating in the Leading Well Retreat with 60 or so church leaders who are becoming better equipped to lead their congregations. Together, we are taking a good long look at how to grow as leaders and doing some self care. Oh, and it’s in Florida which ain’t too shabby. It is inspiring to see leaders who have a hunger to learn and grow. How about you?

Are you growing as a leader? Are you stretching yourself? Are you challenged? Do you have mentors that model the way? Are you in need of more skills to lead your area of ministry? What is your style of leadership and is it effective in your context?

What kind of leader are you? Great leaders adapt their leadership style to the situation at hand, alternating between styles. Here are 4 hats that you may need to wear as you navigate being an adaptive leader:

  1. Commander: When the situation demands fast action or when others don’t know what to do or respond lethargically in an urgent situation, a take-charge style is often most appropriate.
  2. Catalyst: When people are fairly motivated and somewhat informed, then a less domineering but still very active leadership style is appropriate. The catalyst ensures that team members are motivated and working together.
  3. Coach: A coach works from the sidelines to provide instruction and motivation, confronting team members when they aren’t performing well. This approach works well when team members are doing a good job.
  4. Consultant: Motivated, competent people respond well to this relaxed approach to leading. The consultant is more of a leader among peers who offers wisdom, helps to create focus, and serves as a team builder.

You don’t need to just be one kind of leader. In fact, healthy, effective leaders use many leadership styles. With practice, all of these hats can be worn with style (ok that was corny). But seriously, being an adaptive leader means being teachable and willing to change (adapt).

Don’t underestimate your ability to change and grow in your leadership position. After all, isn’t being a Christian about transformation? Allow God to work on you as a leader by seeking out opportunities to improve and you will be surprised at how much more you will enjoy your ministry and your leadership.

At Vibrant Faith we are committed to walking alongside leaders to help them lead great ministry. If you are a leader for Faith Formation, you may want to consider taking a look at our Certificate in Children, Youth & Family Ministry Leadership or the Leading Well Retreat as a way to grow in your leadership, skills and knowledge. You also might want to join us at our summit in April, where we spend an entire day on adaptive leadership. Not sure which one might be a fit? Contact me to assess what kind of leadership development you may need.

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