What am I learning about leadership?  One person I coach reflected on this question early this morning.  With his permission, I will share what he learned.  This is how he expressed it.

  1. Even though I know the results I want, I’m not always sure how to get those results.

Coach’s Reflection: It is very common for leaders to know what they want to see happen but not know how to make it happen in their situation.  Coaching clarifies the questions that must be answered to develop a solution unique to your situation.

  1. I don’t really need to know how.  I just need to know where to go to get the resources or where to go to get a push.

Coach’s Reflection: Leaders often feel inadequate because they don’t have all the answers.  But a great leader doesn’t need to know all the answers.  He or she just has to know how to find them.  Sometimes a leader knows the answer but needs a “push” to get started.  Coaching gives you an encouraging push and can help you to determine the right way to “push” a team or even customize the “push” for individuals on the team.

  1. Even when I do know what I want, sometimes I’m afraid for the people who will get left behind if we go there.

Coach’s Reflection: Note where the fear is.  Often, pastors hate to see anyone left behind.  But one person’s leadership may not be strong enough to take the organization where God is calling it to go.  My coachee noted that not only do some get left behind, they often get trampled.  Coaching can help a leader transition team members to new structures and new positions that minimizes collateral damage.

  1. The flip side is when I don’t leave those people behind, I leave other people hanging.

Coach’s Reflection: It is important to have the right frame of mind when you take your organization through change.  You don’t want to leave people behind, but what happens if you refuse to move ahead with God’s vision?  What are the consequences of not taking action?  A great coaching question is “What happens if I don’t?”

  1. There is a part of me that is afraid that the leaders than I need are stronger than I am and may leave me behind.  But I don’t think that is any less dangerous than them having to work around me.

Coach’s Reflection: This is wonderfully honest.  Andy Stanley tells his team, “I might not be the best leader on team.  I just got here first.”  You prove yourself as the best leader when you put the best people in the best spots to achieve your mission.

  1. Leadership is “Where do I want the bus to go and who needs to be on the bus for us to go there.”

Coach’s Reflection: Leadership isn’t about having the best ideas.  Leadership is about the willingness to put together a great team.  Leadership is the willingness to be authentic and honest and build trust across a diverse team.  Leadership is the willingness to negotiate conflict in order to find the best idea and align people to the overall vision.

What are some of your reflections as a leader?