I remember my early days as a youth pastor, working with Kevin Cobb. At that point I had been in many leadership positions throughout my younger years, both in high school and extracurricular activities. However, now I was being paid to make sure that people were on the right track. Kevin and I had a very important conversation when I was pretty new to the process, which centered on my outlook on life. He told me that if I wanted to be successful at leading others I would have to take a couple of intentional steps. The first one was that I had to rely on others, or build teams. The other was that I needed to begin looking at life through what he calls the “leadership lens.”
The leadership lens is exactly what it sounds like. Every situation that I encountered I viewed in such a way that I could apply the leadership principles that I knew, and those that I was learning. As you could probably imagine I made a ton of mistakes early on. It’s one of the reasons I really look to authors like John Maxwell, who wrote 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. It was about having a set of values and principles that I was able to look towards the matter within any situation, or question.
Wherever you are in the leadership journey, just know that the sooner you start looking at situations through the leadership lens, the more you’ll start to make correct directional decisions. And, as one of my author–mentors says that all leaders should ask in any situation, “What would a great leader do?” Lead well.