Over the years, I have often heard the phrase, “It’s quicker if I just do it myself.” But is that really true when it comes to leadership? The problem with this approach is that it does not take the long view. It saves time only in the short term. You accomplished in a few seconds or a minute or two what it might have taken you half an hour or more to train someone else to do, but you have trapped yourself. Can we use those extra minutes to invest a bigger opportunity?
I've been in combat in two combat theaters, but church planting has been the most grinding thing in my life. It's also brought me the most joy. So, if I had to sum it up in five words, I would say church planting is: grinding, joyful, mind-boggling, exuberant, and learning. Here's what that has meant for me.
Leadership is a learned skill. Much of the learning takes place experientially, but books can also provide valuable learning. Since reading Steven B. Sample's The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership, "Work for Those Who Work For You" (Chapter 8) has become a guiding leadership principle for me. More than 20 years after first encountering Sample’s work, I still have 2 green sticky notes marking pages in that chapter. On one, I wrote ”service” and on the other “access.” They are reminders that help me even today.