Leadership Lessons… from Stephen Covey

For the next few days, I’m going to be doing a blog “mini-series” to highlight some of the important truths I’ve taken away from the time I’ve spent studying great leaders – namely, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie and Zig Ziglar. All three of these men have a lot they can teach us about being effective with people. And let’s face it: If we aren’t effective with people, we aren’t effective! Let’s get started today by taking a look at what Stephen Covey says about learning to Synergize:

“As a principle-centered leader, effective delegation takes emotional courage as you allow to one degree or another, others to make mistakes on your time, money and good name. This courage consists of patience, self-control, faith in the potential of others and respect for individual differences. Effective delegation must be two-way: responsibility given, responsibility received.” – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (pp.171 -179)

You’ve probably heard me talk about lone-ranger leadership before… So many of us – especially lead pastors – want to do everything ourselves. If we do ever get to the point of trying to delegate, we usually want to keep a pretty high level of control over the things we put others in charge of. But look at what Stephen Covey is telling us here – to create synergy and to raise up leaders, we have to be willing to hand over the responsibility for what we are delegating. We can’t expect those we are calling on to take responsibility for what we are asking them to do if we refuse to let go of the reigns ourselves. You have to trust your people, which really does take courage. But as you truly give responsibility, they will receive that responsibility and impress you with their success. Don’t deny others the chance to step into deeper levels of responsibility. The synergy that results will take you much higher than your lone-ranger leadership could ever take you on its own.

– Nelson

P.S. – If you haven’t read Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I HIGHLY recommend that you do!

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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