Six Strategies for Leading Others - by Blake Hudson
“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28
Many people want the praise and admiration associated with being a leader. But few understand that the real work of leadership is done without much fanfare. Leadership is not bossing others around, making unilateral decisions, or even giving fancy speeches. The true and lasting work of leaders is service. It is imperative to serve the needs of one’s teammates and build trust in each other. This is the leadership model Christ gave us and a model that remains effective today.
Here are six strategies young leaders must embrace in order to lead others well:
1. People Come Before Results
When serving in a leadership role, it is easy to become consumed with the results. However, it is important to remember people produce results. The way we treat people will dictate how they perform over time. Thus, we cannot pursue success without first pursuing people.
2. Assign Roles and Affirm Strengths Within Those Roles
Most people join teams for certainty and validation. Humans often crave this affirmation and work best when they know their unique strengths are contributing to a team. When leading a new team, try to be intentional about establishing clearly defined roles, while at the same time, affirming the very strengths that you see within each member. As you do this, each teammate will begin to move with confident clarity of who they are and what is needed from them.
3. Cultivate a Culture of Ownership
When leading a team, remember: this is OUR team, not my team or your team. We may win together, we may lose together. But whatever we do, it’s together. When you choose to ascribe wins and losses to specific individuals you run the risk of splintering the group and building factions within your team.
4. Share Praise, Accept Blame
In moments of triumph, look to praise the work of others as an essential element to the team’s success. When teammates begin to see how their contributions contribute to the success of the team, they will look for ways to contribute even if they don’t seem to be directly responsible. In moments of failure, look to accept the burden of responsibility for the faults of teammates. Leaders can do this because they have enough credibility and trust to take a momentary loss. Newer team members might not have built up enough trust and goodwill to take the blame early on.
5. Redeem Setbacks with Positivity
Every moment can be a learning moment. Mistakes are rarely final and do not negate an individual’s value to the team. If teammates make mistakes, remind them of their value and how they possess the qualities to fill the unique roles for which they were chosen.
6. Know When and Where to Take Your Losses
You will endure moments of difficulty but you have to dig deep down and ask yourself, “What are we trying to accomplish here?” Having the end firmly in view is the first and last duty of a leader. When you have the end goal in view, the middle won’t seem so hard.
To His disciples, Jesus seemed too calm in certain situations. But that was because He knew their work was only just beginning.
When we lead new teams we also can have a similar approach. Never become so short-sighted that you miss out on the long-term moments to pour into people. With a mindset of service and a culture of trust, you can step into your new role and leave the greatest legacy one can leave: a team of people fully developed and well-equipped for the work to come.
Blake Hudson - @OneBrightBlake
A graduate from the University of Illinois-Springfield with a Master's in Public Administration, a former political candidate for the Illinois State Senate, and a current Admissions Counselor at Trinity International University, Blake Hudson is a leadership-oriented individual who finds great joy in helping young adults develop identity and purpose. Blake draws on his own experiences in school, politics, and entrepreneurship to motivate and advise other Millennials and emerging leaders. Check out his podcast Bright Start to hear Blake discuss leadership on three levels: character, community, and culture.