Leadership Realities: Can Your Weakness Actually Become a Strength?

One the greatest challenges I have faced as a leader is being uneasy with admitting weakness to my followers. There’s just something about admitting a weakness that seems to go against the laws of leadership. But, is that really true?

Leadership Strength Weakness

You see, I am experiencing more and more that the inability to admit weakness is in fact one of the greatest weaknesses a leader can have. Or to say it another way:

One of the greatest strengths of a leader is the ability to recognize a weakness and ask for help. 

The Benefits of Facing Our Weaknesses

  • When leaders are able to be gut honest about their weaknesses they can delegate to those who have skills in the area of weakness.
  • Leaders are able to spend more time focused on their strengths and will bring greater productivity to an organization.
  • Followers are involved in greater ways to accomplish the overall goals and purposes.
  • Followers continue to follow a leader who is transparent and authentic. The leader who ‘fakes it’ will produce fake followers and lose the authentic ones over time.
  • The quicker a leader faces the reality of their weaknesses, the quicker they can learn to adapt.
  • Leaders will inspire upcoming leaders who are need to see that “no leader is perfect.”

A Word of Caution…

While it is helpful for a leader to face and admit their weaknesses, it’s essential that they limit how much and how often they unload on their followers. The leader who constantly admits and focuses on flaws will detract from the purpose and mission of an organization.

How are you facing your weaknesses? Who has God placed in your organization to help you in an area of weakness? How are you helping or hurting your mission and purpose by faking it? 

Phil <><


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Answering Teenagers’ Toughest Questions.

Youth Ministry QuestionsToday at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference I am leading a peer panel on how to answer teenagers toughest questions. Here are some guidelines and ideas I am providing for people in the peer panel. They might also be useful to you too?

When answering teenagers questions here few things to consider: 

YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW IT ALL: It’s OK to admit to students that you need time to research or pray through an answer. Students don’t expect you to know everything, so don’t expect this for yourself!

EXPECT QUESTIONS FROM TEENAGERS! This is the time in their lives when they reconstructing and putting together a whole new world in their brains. Students are beginning to think abstractly and see things in a whole new way… Questions are your friend since they can become the pathway to students processing and eventually owning the truth. Questioning is not a bad thing, it’s part of their brain development! We have an incredible opportunity to come alongside them as they deal with some of their greatest felt needs… So, expect and embrace questions!

WHAT BIBLICAL TRUTH CAN YOU DRAW FROM? Students are getting enough poor information from search engines and well intentioned friends. God’s Truth is the best starting point we can give them…

WHAT OUTSIDE ISSUE COULD BE IMPACTING YOUR STUDENT? In other words, what is the context? Understanding the context is often the doorway into finding out their specific issue or need. Context will allow us to tailor a better answer with them…

WHO NEEDS TO BE INVOLVED IN THE QUESTION? If you are volunteer, have you spoken to your youth pastor or pastor? Do the parents need to know? Do you need to report this to an official? Or, are there ‘experts’ in your church who can help you with a particular question?

BECOME AN EXPERT IN RESOURCES: You might not know all the answers, but you should work hard to know where to find them.  There are many youth ministry resource companies who can help you.

GET THEM TO PROCESS THROUGH THE ANSWER:  Give them some of the “work” and help them own the answer more effectively. When students go through a process of digging for the answer, it will more likely stick with them. When we can get them to do the work and begin to verbalize what they are learning, they are more likely to own what they have learned. A messy journey alongside a student as we help them discover and process an answer is far better than a well-crafted answer from you and I.

What would you add to this list? What tip is the most helpful one for you? 

Phil <><

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