Effective Leadership

     John Maxwell once said, “everything rises or falls on leadership” (Leadershift, 12).  I think you can see this truth whether you are working in a business, church, non-profit, union or school.  But what are some keys to compelling leadership?  How can we lead effectively, whatever our role?
     Follow first.  The best leaders are followers first.  They learn to lead by picking good leaders to learn from.  Even Jesus Christ, who we Christians believe is the fully divine Son of God, was always saying that what he did was the “will of the Father.” 
     The next key is to focus.  The best leaders find their strength zones and try to spend most of their time and effort in those areas.  Where do you make the biggest contribution to the organization you work for?  Spend as much time as possible there.  Once again, we see this principle in the life of Jesus; people were always trying to pull him in the direction of being a political leader of Israel.  He never wavered that his mission was to serve and give his life as a ransom (Matthew 20:28).  This was his great calling and strength and where he focused his efforts. 
     Coupled with the idea of focus is the next key, build a great team.  Do not try to do it all.  You are not good at everything.  Find staff who have strengths you do not.  I am not a strong detail person but my church would be a mess if no one on my staff loved the details.  Intentionally invite into your leadership circle those who do not have a similar gift mix as yourself.  When Jesus ascended back into heaven, he did not leave the mission of world evangelism to one person but a large, gifted but messy team.  Whatever your mission, part of growing your leadership is moving your thinking from me to we.         
     Finally, I would add, never stop growing.  I have lead churches for several decades and I still must continually grow as a leader.  Who can you learn from?  What books might be helpful?  What resources could you take advantage of?  One helpful resource for leadership development coming up in Fairbanks is the Elevate Leadership Conference hosted by Journey Christian Church on Saturday, January 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. located at 1201 Hoselton Rd.  It is a free conference to help you grow as a leader.  The confirmed speakers for the conference include:
Bill Bailey, Communications Manager—Alyeska Pipeline Service Company
Tim Erickson, CEO—Cold Spot For Healthy Pets
Mark Hamilton, President Emeritus—University of Alaska
Pat Pitney, President—University of Alaska
COL Nathan Surrey, Garrison Commander—Fort Wainwright
Joe Usibelli Jr., President—Usibelli Coal Mine
Anne Weaver, CEO—Fairbanks Community Food Bank
Geoff Welch, President & CEO--Date Line Digital Printing
     Each of these leaders is accomplished in various spheres in our community.  I think you will learn and grow if you carve out the time to participate.  If you would like to RSVP so that you receive a free catered lunch either text or call 907-460-9290 or email [email protected]  Please RSVP for lunch by Monday, January 24.  If you do not want lunch you do not have to RSVP.  I hope whether you attend the conference or not you will continue to grow and take your leadership influence to the next level.  Leadership is simply influence; whatever position you currently hold I hope you will use your influence to promote truth, love and grace.    
Pastor Derek Dickinson
Journey Christian Church