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Leading confidently without being overpowering -part II

This is the second and final part of the last post by Carl Chambers on leadership.

Imagine you have been set a challenge. You are with two others, an adult and a child. Your challenge is to cross, in one go, a somewhat rickety bridge. Easy enough you might think, as long as it bears your weight?

Not a chance. Because the child is a teenager with a criminal record who has no desire to take part. The adult is a wheelchair user who would struggle to wheel himself over the bumps of the bridge.

One further complication? Just telling them to do something is totally counter-productive. You may have the authority but you’d lose each one straight away. The teenager would storm off in a huff. The adult would be crushed and retreat into a shell.

This might seem like a million miles away from the leadership challenges of a church minister. But not really. Our weaknesses and struggles as a Christian may not present in the same way, but the root causes have close parallels. We may hide our pride better than the teenager and cloak our fear better than the wheelchair user. But our hearts are similar.

The above was an actual situation I observed in a management training course in yesteryear. The solution required the leader to understand the weaknesses of each of his ‘team’ and seek to use their strengths to serve the other.