Don’t Let Things Get Weird

“I tell my staff everything has a season. One day we’re not going to be the coolest church. Nothing is forever. As soon as somebody thinks forever, that’s when they close their hand. Now they have to control, maintain and protect it…Things get weird.” – Andy Stanley

This is a powerful quote from a man who is as well known for his leadership expertise as he is his giftedness in preaching. That “nothing lasts forever” includes our influence. We’re not always going to possess the loftiest title, lead the most employees, or be the most knowledgeable. No matter how good we are, we won’t remain on top forever. Eventually, someone else will be the go-to guy. Someone else will be chosen to lead. So how do we avoid focusing on forever and closing our hand?

  • We give our influence away instead of hoarding it
  • We build others up instead of tearing them down to make ourselves look better
  • We share what we know instead of keeping the information to ourselves
  • We encourage collaboration instead of domination
  • We celebrate our colleagues’ wins instead of focusing on our own losses

We do these things because leadership isn’t about us. It’s about others.

“It isn’t about who is ‘for’ or ‘against’ you, it’s about who you are for.” – Andy Stanley

This is a great quote! Why? Because it alludes to the “politics trap” that many leaders get caught up in as their influence increases. When we succumb to politics, we worry more about who’s on our side, who’s on the other side, how we can get our idea to win, how we need to position ourselves, and so on. Focusing on who’s for or against us takes our attention away from the important things, like how we can do a better job leading our people. In addition to that, it’s pretty self-centered to waste time wondering about who’s for us!

Take a moment to reflect on how you view the people around you. Do you spend more time thinking about who’s for you or against you, or do you focus your energy on serving and growing your people? People will be for you if you are first for them.

Was I worth it? This is such a powerful question. I guess my mind was reflecting on it today because it’s Easter.  I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I want to be “worth it” for Him. I want to make sure that the sacrifices and investment God has made in me pay off in His opinion. I know some day I will stand before Him in Heaven, and I desire to hear Him say, “Sasser… you were worth it!”

It’s that same passion and endless discontent that drives me to ask the same question of those I’ve been blessed to serve and lead. Was I worth it? We all know leadership is temporary. It’s temporary because people come in and out of our lives throughout our career. So while people were in our lives, did we make it worth their time? Was their experience a good one? Did they grow and become more confident because we crossed paths? (more…)