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, non-profit, union or school.  But what are some keys to compelling leadership?  How can we lead effectively?
     Follow first.  The best leaders are followers first.  They learn to lead by picking excellent leaders to learn from.  As a Christian, the leader I follow wholeheartedly is Jesus Christ.  One way I view myself is as His apprentice.   Find leadership mentors and be humble enough to learn from them.
     The next key is to focus.  The best leaders find their strength zones and 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.  He never wavered that his mission was to serve and give his life as a ransom (Matthew 20:28).  This was his calling 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 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 thirty years 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 27 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:
John Burns, President and CEO—Golden Valley Electric Association
Mark Hamilton, President Emeritus—University of Alaska
 Meghan Heim, Owner—Fudge Pot and Infinite Options Care Coordination Services
Frank Ostanik, Director—Catholic Schools of Fairbanks
Marilyn Romano, Regional Vice President--Alaska Airlines
Captain Eric Spitzer, Commander, D Detachment—Alaska State Troopers
Jomo Steward, President—Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation
Anne Weaver, CEO—Fairbanks Community Food Bank
     Each of these leaders is accomplished in various spheres in our community.  I think you will learn from them if you carve out the time to participate.  If you would like to RSVP so that you receive a free catered lunch made by “Alaska Lizzie” (Of Master Chef Fame) either call 907-455-4433 or email [email protected]. Please RSVP for lunch by noon on 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 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