How to Be a Helper Instead of a Hero: Part Two


A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you some research about the changing values driving our society in the midst of the pandemic and I began to share three important truths that leaders need to embrace throughout the leadership journey that will equip them to think differently and lead better. These perspective shifts were always essential for leaders, but the complexity of rapid change makes them especially critical right now.

Click Here to Read Part 1

With that truth firmly in our minds, here is Part 2 with the remaining perspectives we must embrace as leaders in order to think differently and lead better…

Perspective  #2: It’s not about you, but it STARTS with you.
It always starts with the leader. If we want to impact the effectiveness of our organization, it starts with us. What do we need to do differently to lead better and influence change?

This is the self-leadership that you’ve heard me reference so often. You must lead yourself well to lead others better. When you’ve done the self investigation to revisit and redetermine your “why,” then you can do the further work of asking yourself, “How?” How do you want to lead?

And how you lead others begins with how you lead yourself.

You can’t take those you lead somewhere that you aren’t willing to go yourself.

Do you need to spend time and energy developing self-awareness, empathy and relational equity? Do you need to challenge yourself on the “hard skills” of your work through reading and trainings? Are you willing to go first with courage to face the challenges and uncertainties of this season?

This humble and sacrificial posture lays a foundation upon which you can build a culture of collaboration, innovation and health.

It starts with you.

Perspective #3: Your greatest work is through others.

While our individualistic society shouts at us to get ahead and to compete, to be self-protective and territorial, what’s actually true is that your greatest fulfillment as a leader will come from seeing others thrive.

As the old adage goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

I’ll be honest that, at times, I’m tempted to simply want to go fast. There have been days when I’ve convinced myself that my best course of action is to go ahead and do things on my own, knowing they will be done well and done completely. My sense is that you’ve had those days too.

But giving in to that temptation steals from those we lead the opportunity to grow, to discover leadership gifts and problem-solving capabilities in themselves that might otherwise lay dormant. Worse yet, it allows pride to get in the way of the type of collaboration that sharpens an idea and improves a process in such a way that produces a remarkable outcome…dare I say a BETTER outcome?

What you do to call out and nurture the skills and talents of your team, to provide clarity and guardrails for them to pursue goals, and to create the safety of a risk-friendly, growth-mindset environment, will ultimately lead to the measure of your impact.

Pour into others. Allow space for them to make mistakes and learn from them. Invite them to opportunities they don’t think they are ready for.

Pay attention to the unique needs of the season. You haven’t been here before. Different seasons and stages of organizational life require different strengths from us as leaders and teams. Your ability to adjust, to focus on the structure of your team and the potential pivots necessary to rise to current challenges is paramount.

And just in case you need to hear it: you have what it takes. You’re doing the work. You’re in the position where you find yourself for a sacred reason. Step forward with confidence in these perspectives.


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Keep leading well!
Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.

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