I get asked all the time by young leaders "how do you handle the responsibility of leading something like Catalyst?" Good question. Reality is, anyone who leads a Church, leads a company, leads a community, leads a non-profit ministry, leads a team, or even a family feels and knows the pressure of responsibility. And Responsibility is part of Leadership. Always. You've heard this before....."You're responsible for what happens.....Don't screw up!" Right!!! We hear this all the time from our parents, from our boss, from our boards, from our friends, from our spouses.
So how do I correctly live with the pressure of Responsibility and Leadership? For me it always begins and ends around the issue of stewardship. The whole idea of stewardship relates back to the concept of watching over something for someone else. Taking care of something you don't own. Ultimately, stewardship begins and ends with a very clear understanding of how you view your role, and who owns it.
Are you the owner, or simply the steward for the owner? Is this mine, or am I just taking care of it while the owner is gone? This will help you shape the framework for what correct Biblical stewardship looks like. Whether it's your role in managing your time, your role in cultivating a dream, your role in leading an organization, your role in managing your money, and more.
So here are a few thoughts on Stewardship, and how it relates to leading whatever movement or organization or community or tribe or initiative or project that you've been currently given.
1. Hold things with an open hand, palms down. Picture that one in your mind. Versus the mindset of holding things with a closed fist, palms up.
2. You don't really own it. God does. All of it. This is incredibly freeing, but also dauntingly important.
3. You don't deserve the credit. It's not you. God deserves the credit. All of it.
4. Don't be naive. You are NOT the reason for the mission and vision of the organization or community you are leading. Those who you are serving are. Embrace that one.
5. Be others focused. Always. And not just when it helps you. Creating wins for others is more fun, and ultimately very strategic.
6. Building a movement is not your job. That's the work of God. Your role is to be prepared to lead one if God sees fit. Thanks to my friend Perry Noble for this nugget.
7. You are not the first. And you won't be the last. Others have done this before, and there will be others after you. Understand your role in the generational impact chain.
8. Be an includer, not an excluder. It's more fun to win when others are involved. Collaboration and partnership are crucial to proper stewardship. You want both your staff and those outside of the organization constantly saying "our" not "your." You as the leader must always be saying "we" and not "I."