If you were looking for me between classes when I was sixteen, there was a 99 percent chance you’d find me in our school’s only computer lab eagerly checking my brand new Yahoo email account. Back then, getting email was thrilling. I couldn’t wait to login to my inbox. Each time a shiny new unread email appeared in bold at the top of the screen, I’d savor the experience.
Today, many of us have the opposite feeling about receiving email. We’re overloaded. Overwhelmed. Maxed out. If I opened my inbox right now, I’d probably have 40 unread messages since yesterday. I simply don’t have the time to read all of them. My entire day would get instantly sucked into a time-space continuum of unproductivity. Too risky!
Therefore, I look for the names and subject lines that entice me—that stand out from the crowd and are interesting and relevant to me. We all do this. These are the emails we read. All the others are ignored or deleted.
This means that to have success with email marketing in your coaching business, you have to write emails that cut through the noise. Your emails have to capture the attention of your busy subscribers. They have to be interesting, relevant and timely. They have to be something your audience is eager to read.
Life is filled with problems.
Some big, some small. Some emergencies, some petty.
When a big problem presents itself, we want somebody to do something about it. Problem-solving is one of the prime roles of a leader, after all.
So, whether it’s in our families, our churches or our nation, when problems arise, we prefer a flurry of activity to silence and stillness. We’re happy just to see some kind of action.
But “at least someone’s doing something!” is never a solution. And it’s a sentence that should never pass through the lips of a leader.
Here are six reasons why ‘doing something’ is never an adequate leadership strategy.
1. Doing nothing is better than doing the wrong thing
When we act on a problem without slowing down to assess it, we can make it worse instead of better.
But we jump in anyway. Because of pride.
After all, my actions can’t possibly make it worse, right?
It’s pretty arrogant to think that anything we do is necessarily going to make the situation better. Which reminds me of another sentence no leader should ever say. Namely, “whatever they do, it can’t be any worse than it is right now.”
If history has taught us anything, it’s that things can always get worse
We would all agree that the worst possible rut to ever be in as a Pastor is living in a perpetual state of distraction, overwhelm, and superficiality.
Yet, if someone were to ask us how we’re doing, we’d be lying if we didn’t say that’s how we spend the majority of our week. We race from one “oh that’s good enough” partially finished task to the next.
In his book The Contemplative Pastor, Eugene Peterson said there’s a reason he throws away any mail he receives that is addressed to the “busy pastor.” Not that that doesn’t describe us at times, for it surely does, but because, as Peterson says, “I refuse to give my attention to someone who encourages what is worst in me.”
Why Become A Minimalist Pastor?
Some Senior Pastors I coach tell me they thrive on high-stress pressure. I tell them that the extra 30 pounds they’re carrying, or their superficial relationships, or their mediocre sermons week after week would beg to differ.
Jesus had a center from which he operated which was perfectly still, unmarred by the waves around him. He knew what he was called to do, made decisions accordingly, then acted to the best of his ability and never felt rushed.
Jesus is our model, not that guy on the stage at the last conference we attended. That guy – you know the one – the guy who built that super massive church in under three months flat and is on the covers of all the magazines in church world.
Leadership is a complex subject that requires a lifetime of continued learning. It requires constant practice, learning from mistakes and the willingness to take risks.
Leadership is influence.
Leadership is about inspiring people to a purpose that results ultimately in their best interest, both here on earth, and for eternity.
Thousands of books have been written on leadership, but if I had the assignment to teach leadership in 4 words, here’s what they would be.
Heart -> Connect -> Trust -> Follow
These four words provide a foundation for relationally-based leadership that when connected to a vision, will serve any leader well.
Here’s a summary. If you lead with your heart, people can connect with you. If people connect with you, they will trust you, and if they trust you, they will follow you.
Now read the summary with the reverse perspective for even greater clarity and insight. People will not follow anyone they do not trust. They cannot trust someone they don’t connect with, and they can’t connect with someone with whom they cannot find their heart.
Let’s break it down
All leadership begins at a heart level. This is not meant to be a complex thought. It’s not lofty or ethereal. Leading from the heart is nothing more and nothing less than being yourself.
Leading from the heart requires that you are self-aware. It’s important that you know who you are, how God wired you, and His purpose for you.
Leading from the heart requires that you can manage your fears and insecurities. We all have them. The thing that sets you apart as a leader is whether those fears and insecurities manage you or you manage them. Successful leaders acknowledge fear and insecurity but work hard to rise above them. In time, both can be greatly minimized