First-Time Leadership Experiences

One of the blogs I follow is titled Management Excellence.  The blogger is Art Petty.  I really like his Leadership Caffeine for the Coming Week.  In one of his recent posts he wrote about people’s first-time leadership experiences.  I thought I would share my experiences with the three things he writes about being first time experiences that happen to people in leadership. 
  • A majority of individuals indicate that they became a leader for the first time by accident.  I think I became cognisant of my leadership ability and position by accident.  Through some pretty miraculous circumstances I felt like God was wanting the church I served in Indianapolis to forge a sister church relationship with a church in Vinnitsa, Ukraine.  What I found as I cast vision was that in the first phase of that relationship the elders of our church owned the vision I had cast more strongly than I did.  I found out through experience the power of sharing vision with others could make a huge difference in attitude and action in an organization.  I discovered this all by accident.
  • First-time leaders received little support or mentoring from their immediate manager.  Throughout my ministry career that has been my story, not just the first-time I led.  I guess that wasn’t always true and is not true now.  But in my first ministry the Sr. Leader was not available for support or mentoring.  In Chicago I had a very supportive leader.  I learned a lot there.  Working with the leader I have now has been awesome.  However, in the beginning  of my career I had to learn by trial and error.  I’ve always tried to be very supportive of my direct reports because of those first experiences I had. 
  • A surprising number of those that lived through this ad hoc promotion to leadership report engaging in the same practices of promoting upon need and leaving people to sink or swim.  I guess I answered that above.  I never want the kinds of things that happened to me in the beginning happen to anyone else.  I have one-on-ones with those that report directly to me.  We talk about issues they face.  I run interference for them so they can get their jobs done.

So those are my thoughts on my first experiences in leadership.  When did you realize you had a leadership gift?  How have you stewarded that gift?  How have you stewarded that gift in others?

That’s this leader’s view.




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