If you are a leader, you know things at times can get pretty lonely. You know that because you need to make some tough decisions, because you are the one who helps organizes everything to make things happen, who trains up the volunteers and counsel students, it could get pretty lonely and pretty tiring unless you have set yourself up in a way that will keep you healthy as a leader.
I feel a big part of how to do that is having the right people in your life to help you in the times of loneliness and have someone people that you can bounce ideas off of and even safely vent to. When we have these people set up in our leadership, we will only benefit and our leadership will grow.
So what kind of people do you need to keep healthy?
Someone ahead of you – To continue to grow as a leader you need to have someone intentional in your life who you feel like you want to be like when you get older. You need to have someone ahead of you in life so you can go to and ask for advice, bounce things off of them, ask them questions, etc. You need someone not only ahead of you in ministry but someone ahead of you in life. If you can find someone who will make you a better leader in your church, in your family, a better leader for your spouse, as a parent, it could be one of the most valuable things you can do.
A peer inside your organization – When it comes to the everyday side of ministry in your workplace, I think it’s vital to have someone, a friend, that you work within your organization who is at the same leadership level as you. They might be in another department but it’s someone who you call a friend and can do to for day to day things, ask questions, get advice from, etc. Someone that if you needed to, you can go get a cup of coffee with them and talk through things. For me, this has been crucial when it comes to being frustrated and just need someone to talk things through with or if I have an idea and I need someone to help formulate it with outside of my department. It keeps you sharp.
A peer outside your organization – Sometimes you will need to talk about something that you need an outside opinion. Having a friend who does what you at another place could be greatly beneficial for your leadership. This person does what you do, deal with very similar things, and have the same frustrations you do but at another place. Getting someone else’s perspective who is completely removed, a third party can help you stay healthy as a leader. I have a few people who I will go to from other church who I know have a good, healthy view of ministry and I love that I can call on them whenever I feel like I need some good, outside advice.
Someone you are pouring into – In order to be a leader you have to have people following you. To stay healthy as a leader you need someone you are intentionally pouring into. I’m sure you know this already, as this is why you do what you do, but having someone you are disciplining intentionally is one of the best ways you as a leader can stay healthy because you have someone asking you questions, taking your lead, looking to you as their “someone ahead of you” in ministry. It’s a great cycle to have.
I truly believe as leaders, if we were intentional with having these 4 types of people placed around our leadership, we would be the healthiest leaders around. Do you have this setup? What value do they bring to the table?