By Dr. Kent Ingle
One of the key qualities of effective leaders is being flexible. Your role as a leader is always changing as your organization grows. It’s like driving a car. The greatest amount of energy is spent in actually starting it up. As the car speeds up, it has to keep shifting into higher gears. But in the end where it goes depends on the driver. In the same way, your function as a leader changes the more your organization grows. Here are a few ways a leader’s position can change.
First, your role as the leader will change
Whenever you start an organization or project, you initially do most of the work. You take care of the administration. Maybe you go out and meet with key people directly. You’re probably doing the bulk of the research. And you’re also responsible to fuel the vision and the dream. As the project shifts into a higher gear you become less involved. This doesn’t mean you care less. But your organization needs to grow beyond you. Micromanaging keeps you from reaching your target growth. Delegating enables you to push beyond it.
Secondly, your focus as the leader will change
As you continue to delegate, your attention moves from the project to the people running it. The people are now the focal point of your impact. What areas do they need support in? What do they need to be postured for success in their roles? You see an effective leader shifts their missional dreams into high gear by empowering the up-and-coming leadership. As your company or project continues to grow, those rising leaders will assume greater responsibility. Your focus as the leader is to come alongside and empower them for success!
Lastly, your influence as the leader will change
As your organization or project continues to grow, you will have less direct influence. However your decisions have a much greater impact on the organization. You’ve moved from being the engine inside the car to the person driving it. You control your organization’s direction and speed. So keep your eye on your vision be bold in chasing after God’s plans!
Dr. Kent Ingle is the President of Southeastern University. Prior to ministry work, he spent a decade as a TV sports anchor for NBC and CBS. He is the author of 9 Disciplines of Enduring Leadership.