Doug Franklin knows leadership! He is a leader who has committed his life to helping develop young leaders. He’s a perfect candidate for youth ministry friends to learn from! A veteran youth worker who formed LeaderTreks and now spends his time creating tools and resources that enable youth workers to develop students into leaders. He has become a good friend of Simply Youth Ministry and will be leading workshops at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference March 4-7. He has a much better blog than mine…click here to visit.
1. What is your definition of leadership?
At LeaderTreks we define leadership as the ability to combine a set of learned principles and character traits that influence others toward a common mission. To be honest, leadership is big and getting it into a sentence is hard. The heart of the matter for me though is that a leader is someone who gets a group of people on the same page, and moves them forward.
2. What’s an important tip you have to share about leading others?
Balance. As leaders, we need to have balance between mission and caring for people. I like to say, “mission first, people always.” This simple phrase reminds me that God has given me a mission to do, but just as importantly, he’s given me a community of people to do it with. I need to make decisions as a leader that are best for the mission, but also take into account a high value for people. I think when we lead with balance, we have the best chance to not only be effective, but also have personal impact. You can’t lead people unless they know you care about them.
3. What’s your biggest failure / weakness as a leader?
I am not a good listener. I think I know what someone is saying half way through their sentence, and I often interrupt. I can’t seem to help myself at times. Oftentimes when I’m in conversations with people, I whisper to myself “shut up!” and I still can’t. I know that when I interrupt people, I devalue them. I communicate that I’m not listening and I don’t care about them. I try to work on this and pray about it all the time, and I’m making progress. When I speak before listening, I come across as a know-it-all, and no one’s really interested in following a know-it-all.
4. What do you do to keep growing as a leader?
I retreat. A leadership coach helped me a few years ago identify that I do my best thinking and growing when I retreat. Two or three times a year I try and get away for short periods of time. I read, I think, and I play golf. These times of retreating do more to help me grow than anything else.
4.5 What is your favorite __________?
I’m a Chicago guy, so it’s Giordanos Pizza and the Bears. Much to my wife’s dismay.