Five Surprising Keys to Leading with Courage

  1. Take Prayerful Risks:  The courageous leader is not afraid to try something that requires a miracle!  From Moses to Joshua, from David to Nehemiah, from Peter to Paul.  God uses people who realize that without him their plans and leadership will ultimately fail.

  2. Have Fierce Conversations: The courageous leader is not afraid to have difficult and sometimes painful conversations.  Paul’s advice to Timothy was to “correct, rebuke, and exhort” (2 Timothy 4:2). Sometimes we try to avoid having conversations that we fear will bring pain or somehow damage our relationships, but when the truth is spoken in true love and in loving and strategic ways, it often has the opposite effect, bringing clarity, understanding, and healing.

  3. End Things Well: The courageous leader is not afraid to end a program, small group, event, or tradition that is no longer effective or fruitful.  Many churches and organizations have a calendar full of things that have long ago lost sight of their purpose.  A courageous leader is able to gently, clearly and firmly lead people to see that these things need to be celebrated and ended to make way for fresh approaches.

  4. Color Outside the Lines: The advent of adult coloring books with intricate designs and carefully laid boundaries is a wonderful thing! In the church that seeks to live on mission, too many lines and rules and rigid structures can stifle creativity and discourage experimentation.  A wise leader knows when to stay within the line and when to courageously “go off the map” and discover new territory.

  5. Goof Off: Our culture is obsessed with work and overwork.  Harvard Business Review recently published an article titled, “Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-hour Weeks.” They cite the common cultural belief that “superman doesn’t get time off.” Courageous leaders are not intimidated by the cultural expectations of workaholism and are unafraid and unashamed of goofing off as an exercise in mental and familial health.  At Luminex we have a kind of mantra that we pass on to the leaders we are working with, that “overwork is the enemy of effective ministry” (Rick Veenstra).  Will you have the courage to goof off this week?

 

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Comments
  • Mike Gafa
    Reply

    Doug, thank you for providing these valuable lessons. The “fierce conversations” key is one that I especially need to be more tuned in with. Too often, I am more reactive than proactive. Thanks for the good reminder, and for your wisdom and leadership!

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