4 Preoccupations of Great Leaders

UnknownEveryone is preoccupied by something. What separates the difference makers from those who simply don’t comes down to what they are preoccupied with. Especially for those serving in ministry life, here are 4 Preoccupations of Great Leaders…

Who are we serving? It’s easy to get off-center and become a people-pleaser. Let’s face it, so much is tied to the support and morale of those under our influence. Are we called to serve a world of others? Yes. However, they shouldn’t be our deep motivation. Besides, falling in and out of favor based on the preferences of people is just a fact of life for leaders. Remember, what we do is ultimately done “as unto the Lord.” It is his “well done” that we are striving for and are living in by His grace, through faith.

Why are we doing this? Any leader worth their salt has looked toward heaven and asked, “What am I doing and why am I doing it!?!” While it may have become a little too familiar in leadership circles, knowing and constantly returning to our “Why?” is a healthy practice, essential, really. When I’ve found myself wandering and wondering as a leader I have returned again and again to thoughts that focus on the good of others, the health of my family and the glory of the Lord. What is your “Why?”

How can I help? We vision and value. We strategize and plan. We resource and equip. We do a lot of things  in the pursuit or our organizational missions. But, somehow, we can still fall short of leading effectively. Return often to a simpler place as a leader and ask those you have empowered, “How can I help?” We may just be surprised to find that some of what we offer is of little help. In short, let others help you help them.

Who’s next? Most of us are so preoccupied with answering,  “What’s next?” that we miss the more important and far more influential question, “Who’s next?” Who are investing in? Who are you developing, encouraging, helping to grow and get better, BE better? Whether you are just getting started or are coming down the final stretch, your season as a leader will pass all too quickly. There will always be something else, but there will never be someone else quite like you and, even more important, those you can and should be preparing to lead next. Invest in “Who’s next?” and the “What’s next?” will become far more effective.

What are your preoccupations as a leader? I would love to hear your thoughts below! Need some help discovering your “Why?” Email me at and let’s talk about partnering to become a healthier leader.


4 Preoccupations of Good Leaders

images-4What’s on your mind as a leader? Let’s be more specific… are you results or process oriented in your thinking? The answer to this makes a big difference in how you live and lead, especially as a Christian leader.

Consider these 4 Preoccupations of Good Leaders…

Who are we serving? Is there a specific group of people you are hoping to reach, influence, provide for or guide? If your answer is “everybody,” then I would suggest you re-think it. While reaching the world sounds noble and looks good on a website… start by making a difference in the few down the street. Of course, then there’s the “big picture” answer to this question. Ask yourself, “Who is all this really for in the end?”

Why are we doing this? Knowing your “Why?” will be your motivation when things get hard… and they will. Whether you call it your vision or mission statement, choose this carefully and embrace it fully. When challenges mount almost as fast as the critics, believing in the reason you do what you do will be the motivation to keep doing it!

How can we help? Invest in your team. The best leaders make others better. Who can you position for success in their role? Who can you “prop up” and encourage? What team leader or group (volunteer or paid) needs your investment in order to be who they are called to be and then do what they are tasked to do?

Who’s next? Notice that it’s not, “What’s next?” It is so easy as a leader to focus on what people can do to accomplish something better, instead of what something can be done to make people better. And, be ready! Although we should be planning on who we are investing in next in a targeted way, sometimes God sees fit to put people right in our path that need encouraged and/or equipped right here, right now. Discern the difference between the “needy” and those in need and be there for them.

Notice that these questions assume something vital? They are in the plural.  It’s a team thing, not a me thing. You didn’t get where you are by being a “lone ranger,” and you won’t get where God wants you to go and reach who He wants you to reach that way, either. Determine to live and lead as part of a great team of people determined to make a difference in other people… together.

Finally, here is a portion of the “pep talk” the Apostle Paul gave to the leaders of the growing church in the city of Colossae. I hope it serves to keep you precoccupied as a Christian leader today! Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24, NIV

What preoccupations would you recommend to other leaders? Share your insights in the discussion thread below!